Cheesecake Factory is serving up unhealthy meal options: CSPI

Jul 31, 2014 01:28 PM EDT | By Staff Reporter

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The Cheesecake Factory is serving up the unhealthiest food in America, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).

After surveying over 200 chain restaurant menus for meals and combos that are especially high in calories, fat, sugar and salt, the winner of this year's ignominious prize is a real monster. Specifically, Red Robin's "monster-sized" A.1. peppercorn burger, served with "bottomless" fries and a "Monster" milkshake, which clocks in at a whopping 3,540 calories.

Cheesecake Factory said its restaurants offer a range of options, from low- to high-calorie dishes.

"When we were screening candidates for the first Xtreme Eating awards in 2007, we were shocked to see 1,500-calorie entrées," the group said in a statement. "This year, nearly all of our 'winners' hit (or just missed) the 2,000-calorie mark. And a few doozies topped 3,000 calories. You could take half home and still overeat."

The Cheesecake Factory offers more than 200 menu items and "has always been about choices," spokeswoman Alethea Rowe said in an emailed statement. She added, "Many of our guests come in and want to celebrate and not be concerned with calories. Others want to share their dish -- and we love it when guests share -- that's a great sign that our portions are generous -- and a large percentage of our guests take home leftovers for lunch the next day."

The Xtreme Eating Awards have been held since 2007 and have put pressure on some of the nation's biggest restaurant chains to tone down their menus. 

Another award recipient was Red Robin's burgers, which come with an all-you-can-eat side of French fries and an option for an extra beef patty. 

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