With two out of three adults—and one out of three children—overweight or obese, you’d think that restaurants would have some interest in keeping their patrons alive and dining out longer.
With mandatory calorie labeling on the horizon for chain restaurants, you’d think that restaurants would be dropping high-calorie items from their menus.
With close to 30 percent of young Americans too heavy to join the military, you’d think that restaurants would at least stop introducing new heavyweight items.
Nope. It’s business as usual in the restaurant industry. And that means it’s business as usual around here. Welcome to our 2010 Xtreme Eating Awards.
Here’s the calorie count for a typical meal at Five Guys:
Take the Five Guys Hamburger. Its 700 calories (with no toppings) makes a Big Mac (540 calories) or a Quarter Pounder (410 calories) look like kids food. And the McDonald’s numbers include the burgers’ fixin’s. A Five Guys Bacon Cheeseburger has 920 calories and 30 grams of saturated fat (1½ days’ worth) without toppings. Think two Quarter Pounders.
And how many Five Guys patrons eat a burger without fries or a drink? Add 620 calories for the regular fries or 1,460 calories for a large. (The large is as big as three large orders of fries at McDonald’s.) Now your lunch of an unadorned Bacon Cheeseburger and large fries is up to 2,380 calories. Add 100 calories for every plop of mayo on your burger, another 300 for a large (32 oz.) Coke, and 300 more for every free refill.