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Restaurant meals: If we're not shocked, we should be

June 9, 2009 |  1:29 pm

We recently wrote about the 2009 Xtreme Eating Awards from the consumer advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest -- a list of some of the most calorific, salty and fatty restaurant meals.

Our conjecture was: We have become so accustomed to these shocking numbers that they're losing their shock value. (Read that earlier post here.)

Mike Jacobson, the center's executive director, can't truly believe that is so, and sent the following letter, including a few additional numbers:


"Gosh, Rosie...

I've been looking at restaurant foods for 20-some years, but even I am shocked by the numbers, like:


Olive Garden

Meals                                 Calories                 Sodium mg

1 Breadstick*                         150                         350
Tour of Italy (Lasagna)          1,450                      3,830
Garden Fresh Salad
w/ House Dressing                  350                      1,990
Coca Cola                                99                            6
TOTAL                                2,049                       6,176

1 Breadstick*                          150                         350
Chicken Parmigiana              1,090                      3,380
Garden Fresh Salad
w/ House Dressing                  350                      1,990
Raspberry Lemonade               110                          15
TOTAL                                 1,700                      5,735

Spaghetti & Italian Sausage   1,270                      3,100
Garden Fresh Salad
w/ House Dressing                   350                      1,990
Sprite                                       97                           22
TOTAL (w/o breadstick)       1,717                      5,112

*Complimentary basket of breadsticks is given to each table.


But, I guess, young people raised on 1/4-pound bagels and 5 hours of screen time a day, can't imagine life any differently.

Best wishes,
Mike"

You can read more of CSPI's calorie and sodium counts here.


-- Rosie Mestel

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