With even McDonald’s, of all places, going healthy nowadays, America can feel disorienting. Thankfully, the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s annual Xtreme Eating Awards is here to calmly remind everyone it’s still possible to get grotesquely ill when dining at a chain restaurant. This year’s slew of most-caloric items tends to sneak up on the casual-dining end’s customers — at places like Applebee’s, the by–now–de facto inclusion of Cheesecake Factory, and their ilk. The item that blew the others away comes from Uno Pizzeria this time. Appropriately dubbed the Whole Hog, its gut-buster of a burger hopes to entice prospective patrons with this menu description:
Think you can handle this Whole Hog Burger? OVER A POUND OF MEAT. Hamburger, sausage, bacon, prosciutto and pepperoni. PLUS — Four types of cheese, garlic mayo & pickles. With fries & onion rings. Extra napkins free!
The Whole Hog has 2,850 calories, which, if anyone’s counting, takes about a half-day of gym time to burn off. Perhaps worse yet, it also packs in 62 grams of saturated fat, or three days’ supply per the government’s dietary guidelines, and nearly six days’ worth of sodium (9,790 milligrams). “You might as well eat four McDonald’s Quarter Pounders with Cheese and two medium fries doused with 18 packets of salt,” CSPI advises.
The rest of the “winners” include a 970-calorie Sonic grape slush that has candy floating in it, a variety of Applebee’s appetizers that split four ways still deliver 850 calories before anyone’s entrée has arrived, and something at Maggiano’s called Marco’s Meal for Two, whose complimentary rolls, appetizer, two side salads, two “classic” pasta dishes, and dessert by now actually sound kind of reasonable.