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New research suggests that many popular chain restaurants are serving up dishes that may contain as many calories as what the USDA recommends for an entire day. The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a research group that advocates good nutrition, found that indulging by eating out to dinner may be packing on more calories than previously thought and maybe even pounds.

The research group publicized their shocking caloric findings in hopes that more restaurants will post their nutritional information so that customers can better evaluate what they are putting in their bodies.

Some of the most shocking findings came from popular restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday. The Colossal Burger weighs in at around 1,940 calories and 141 grams of fat. Did we mention that doesn’t include the side of fries? The Fresh Chicken and Broccoli Pasta has 2,060 calories and 128 grams of fat.

The USDA recommends 1600-2800 calories a day and 53-93 grams of fat depending on age, gender and other factors. While many dishes are overwhelming in calories and size, there are encouraging signs that many people are ordering healthier fare on menus.

Just this week, The Cheesecake Factory announced it will be introducing a new line of salads called “Waist Management” that will contain less than 590 calories each. Not exactly a light meal, the salads are among the first entrees the chain has officially released nutrition facts for. The Center for Science in the Public Interest reports that a slice of Chris’ Outrageous Chocolate Cake at The Cheesecake Factory has about 1,380 calories and 33 grams of fat.

Read the original article here/

While Ruby Tuesdays does offer lighter fare like their salad bar, grilled chicken and steamed broccoli, company representatives found it interesting that the interest group chose to report of two of the highest calorie entrees.
Many restaurants are reaching out to customers by offering healthy options, but the control now lies in the hands of the patron. People want splurge when they eat out at a restaurant, and may not want to know how many calories they are consuming. The Center for Science in the Public Interest would like people to become more aware that their choices may affect their waistline more than previously thought and hope restaurant owners will offer nutrition information where needed. News

@ 11:27am ET on February 27, 2007
The one that scares me the most is those onion blossom things that they serve at Chili's and Outback. The one at Chili's is 2882 calories, 222 grams of fat & 191 carbs! That's not even safe to share with several friends.

@ 2:07pm ET on February 27, 2007
Wow--those are very scary numbers!!! I'm glad that I eat out smart--nothing fried, dressings and sauces on the side, etc. It can be done--I eat out almost 3 times a week and I still manage to lose weight!

@ 1:24pm ET on February 28, 2007
Applebees has a great weight watchers section on the menu that gives a caloric breakdown as well as a low calorie chocolate cake for dessert. I love the new trend to include calories so I can make a healthy decision even when I'm out!

@ 8:52pm ET on February 28, 2007
oh I so wish restaurants would post nutritional information for their meals!! I wish it was a requirement!! Would it ever be so??
It's so difficult to estimate the calories sometimes when you're eating out....

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