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Well it's no wonder so many Americans are overweight

Posted: March 27, 2008 in Misc

Last weekend, Jess and I swung by my mom's house, both to see how she was doing (she had recently had an emergency room visit after suffering a dizzy spell at work) and to take care of a few repairs that needed doing.

After doing the quick fixes, we decided to go out to dinner. Mom was in the mood for either Greek or Chinese, but as we headed out to the restaurants we passed a PF Chang's. Jess and I love this place, and have been meaning to go for some time, and mom loves it too, so we pulled in. They seated us right away (very unusual) and we started to browse the menu.

Being somewhat of a creature of habit, I tend to stick with what I like at chains, so I ordered my usual; Spicy Lettuce Wraps as a starter, and the Mongolian Beef for the entree. We all prefer the brown rice to the white, so they brought that with the main courses.

After dinner, Jess and I both had a taste for chocolate, and they have a dessert called the "Great Wall of Chocolate" which is a 4-layer cake with raspberry sauce. This it a bit much for one person, so Jess suggested we order one and split it. This is always a bad idea with Jess, because she tends to take two bites and say, "the rest is for you" and you end up either eating waaaay more than you wanted, or having to lug it home and eat it later, once it's gone all dry and stale.

But this particular PF Chang's had what they called "Mini" desserts. They're basically like a tall shot glass filled with the dessert of your choice, and they're two bucks instead of the $8 that the full portion is. Perfect! We each got one.

On the way home, I said, "Hmmm, I wonder if they offer nutritional info on their website. We both figured the answer was probably no, but we checked anyway, because we both log all of our food. Well, sure enough, they do!

So I looked up what I'd eaten, and I was aghast...

Lettuce wraps: 510 cal
Mongolian beef: 1180 cal, 73g of fat, and this is NOT including the rice!

but what took the cake (pun intended) was the dessert. It's a GOOD THING we didn't opt for the full portion...

Great wall of chocolate: 2240 cal, 89g of fat.

Holy cow!

Now, here's the scary part. How many people go to that place, order the appetizer, the entree, and the whole slice of cake? If you count the rice, that's over 4000 cal, and that's with water as the drink, and I'm sure some people get soda or alcohol. And that's ONE MEAL.

Imagine a typical weekend. Denny's for breakfast, burgers & fries for lunch, and the above for dinner, and maybe a snack or two sprinkled in. That's easily a 10,000 calorie day folks.

At least the information is available to those who care about what they eat. But I think it should be right there on the menu along with the price. Might make people think twice before they order that cake, and it might make restaurants think about how they prepare food. After all, if no one orders the cake once they see how many calories are in it, the restaurant might start to offer something less lethal.

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