Comfort Food With Super-Sized Calories

Jayne Hurley, who works with the Center for Science in the Public Interest, shown with some of this year's offenders on the Xtreme Eating Awards list.
We may be downsizing on dining out, but some restaurants are supersizing their menus.

Things may taste better fried or with cheese, but start your meal with Red Lobster's Ultimate Fondue and 1,500 calories and two days worth of saturated fat - 40 grams - will melt in your mouth.

It's just one of nine menu items from chain restaurants listed on this year's Xtreme Eating Awards, reports CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy.

"They are super fatty, super salty and the portions are oversized," said Jayne Hurley, with the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Take Chili's Big Mouth Bites - four "mini" bacon cheeseburgers. But with a total of nearly 1,600 calories, 28 grams of saturated fat and two days worth of sodium, each so-called "bite" is like eating an entire McDonald's Quarter Pounder.

"By going to these restaurants, literally I have gained close to about 200 pounds in two years," said diner Anthony Betts.

"How many calories do you think is in the Cheesecake Factory's Fried Mac and Cheese?" asked Tracy.

"Probably 565," guessed one diner.

Actually it's nearly 1,600 and 69 grams of saturated fat. You would actually cut out 12 grams of the fat and half of the calories if you simply ate an entire stick of butter.

Yet when New York City required most chain restaurants to print calorie counts on their menus, 90 percent of diners said their foods had more calories than they expected and 82 changed what they order. So if ignorance is bliss, perhaps knowledge is willpower.