2014 Winners of the “Fattest” Fast Food Chains
A.1. Peppercorn Burger
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The Fiscal Times
July 30, 2014

Of the many fast food chains in this country, the Cheesecake Factory stands out for selling dishes with the most calories and the highest concentrations of sodium, saturated fat and sugar, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a nonprofit health-advocacy group.

The 150-location restaurant takes the cake for three of the nine Xtreme Eating Awards this year, which CSPI has been presenting every year since 2007.

“The Cheesecake Factory may have reformulated a few dishes in response to being named a ‘winner’ of Xtreme Eating Awards in years past,” noted CSPI in a press release Wednesday. “Nevertheless, the chain still sports numerous highly qualified Xtreme contenders, including a 2,800-calorie brunch item, a 2,400-calorie pasta, and a 1,500-calorie slice of cheesecake.”

Keep in mind that the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion estimates a daily caloric need of 2,600 for a moderately active man between the ages of 26 and 45, while a moderately active woman between the ages of 26 and 50 needs roughly 2,000 calories a day to maintain a current weight.

The chain’s Bruléed French Toast, which consists of a plate of custard-soaked bread topped with powdered sugar and served with maple-butter syrup and bacon, would require a person to swim laps for seven hours to burn off its head-spinning 2,780 calories, CSPI noted.

The Cheesecake Factory, however, is hardly the only chain to be called out for its over-the-top calorie counts. Other ‘winners’ from CSPI include Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Famous Dave’s, and Joe’s Crab Shack.

“It’s clear that caloric extremism still rules the roost at many of America’s chain restaurants,” said CSPI dietician Paige Einstein in the release.

At least Americans will soon be made much more aware of the calorie content of the dishes they order at restaurants: The Food and Drug Administration and the White House are in the process of finalizing new menu labeling regulations.

Click here to see the 9 Highest Calorie Fast Food Meals in America.

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Marine Cole has been covering finance and business for a decade and has written for publications that include The Wall Street Journal, Crain's New York Business, and AdvertisingAge.