A CHEESECAKE Factory pasta dish with 13 050 kilojoules, or more than a day-and-a-half of the recommended energy intake for an average adult, is among the headliners on this year’s Xtreme Eating list of the most unhealthy dishes at US chain restaurants.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a consumer-focused non-profit group that promotes healthier eating, compiles an annual list of “food porn” to alert consumers to menu items with eye-popping levels of calories, saturated fat, sugar and/or sodium.

“You’d think that the size of their profits depended on their increasing the size of your pants,” CSPI executive director Michael Jacobson said of the industry’s Xtreme Eating winners. The list was released yesterday.

For years the CSPI has used the “awards” to raise awareness and drum up support for calorie disclosure on restaurant menus, something that larger chains soon will be required to do under the US health reform law.

The Cheesecake Factory’s Bistro shrimp pasta, made with a butter and cream sauce and topped with battered, fried shrimp, also contains 89g of saturated fat and 1 090mg of sodium. CSPI said it confirmed the nutritional data with the companies on the list.

Adults are advised to consume no more than 20g of saturated fat and 1 500mg of sodium a day.

Some in the food and beverage industries have dubbed the group the “food police”. – Reuters