Johns common man approach, which strikes a chord with many overweight Americans, was honed during his 10-year career in the weight loss industry. As Mr. Bad Food, he warns you of fast food, restaurant and supermarket landmines.

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Mr. Bad Food

by John McGran, Food columnist

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In a thinly disguised attempt to steer clear of my daughter’s birthday “spa” party that featured 10 of her closest, noisiest friends, a half-dozen or so moms, and lots of nail polish, I corralled my son and his friend this past weekend and escorted them to the arcade at the mall.

Since a special night out deserves a special evening-ending treat, we headed to Dairy Queen before we headed for home.
I ordered a Banana Cream Pie Blizzard and mentally patted myself on the back for getting a medium rather than a large. For those of you unfamiliar with Blizzards, they are basically soft serve vanilla ice cream that’s loaded with extras.

Usually I ask for M&Ms and OREO bits, but this time the banana cream pie variety caught my eye… and my interest. Turns out I should have stayed home and had my nails painted rather than coating my stomach with the ice cream, banana chunks, pie mix, pie shell pieces and whipped topping.

The Damage Done

My 14-ounce sweet escape weighed me down with 790 calories, 30 grams of fat (16 saturated; 2.5 trans), 60mg cholesterol, 460mg sodium, and 118g carbs.

Turns out I could have done worse… much worse First, I could have ordered a large and got whacked with an extra 310 calories and 12 more grams of fat. Or, like my son ‘s pal Cameron, I could have ordered a medium Chocolate Xreme Blizzard and sucked up 990 calories, 45 grams of fat (23 saturated which is 115% of your RDA; 4.5 trans), 95mg cholesterol, 560mg sodium and a sickeningly sweet 132g carbs (116g sugars).

When I was a kid, we basically had a choice of chocolate, vanilla or strawberry. There may have been other more exotic treats available but I was perfectly happy to stick with the basics.

Had I opted for such a boring yet tasty treat like a medium vanilla cone I would have saved more than half the calories and fat… and I would have gone home perfectly content.

Chew on This: Dairy Queen offers a nifty nutrition tool at www.dairyqueen.com/us-en/eats-and-treats/nutrition-calculator. Take it out for a spin and be amazed at how fast you can go from zero to sickly in the calories and fat departments.

@ 3:38pm ET on March 29, 2008

Glad you know better now and trying to go for much healthier choices ;s ahk, careful with those munchies

@ 3:56pm ET on March 29, 2008
oh my gosh 790 cals!!!! I love banana cream pie shakes. Havent had one in like 2 years and I guess now I know I wont ever have one again LOL

@ 4:03pm ET on March 29, 2008
If you want something like this in the future consider getting the medium and share it with you son (or friend).... if you do not consume the whole thing it is not nearly as many calories, fat ect...Judy

@ 4:08pm ET on March 29, 2008
I need to remember my lessons from Barney... and share! Better yet, stay home and get my nails done!

@ 8:15am ET on March 30, 2008
Niiiiice John! You definitely scored a big one! It's been years since I've been to a DQ! And holy fat grams Batman, I really don't intend on going now! So glad you were able to enjoy your treat! Now, you've had your treat for the MONTH! :)

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