The 10 Worst Foods of the Year

By , SparkPeople Blogger
If 2009 was the year of cutting back, 2010 was the year of adding on, at least when it came to food. The year's top catch phrase: More cheese, please!

On menus from Taco Bell to the Cheesecake Factory, cheese was piled on, in several varieties. Melted, fried, sandwiched, stuffed and slathered on anything and everything, it's safe to say that, if you're eating these foods, you're meeting your dairy quota.

We've rounded up the worst new foods of the year and compiled some fun fitness facts to help put these caloric monstrosities in perspective!

McDonald's McRib

500 calories
26 g fat
10 g saturated fat
980 mg sodium

They say: "Join the club. The club who loves the flavorful pork and tangy barbeque sauce of our favorite sandwich. We’re a discriminating group who don’t mind getting sticky."

We say: It's baaaacccckkk (or at least it was)! After a 16-year hiatus, the much-loved pork patty made its grand return to menu. Thank goodness it was only for a brief time. Our bellies are cheering its departure!

The damage: To undo one McRib, you* would have to spend 148 minutes McJumping around, professing your love for this processed pork sandwich!

KFC Double Down

540 calories
32 g fat
10 g saturated fat
1,380 mg sodium

They say: "The new KFC Double Down sandwich is real! This one-of-a-kind sandwich features two thick and juicy boneless white meat chicken filets (Original Recipe or Grilled), two pieces of bacon, two melted slices of Monterey Jack and pepper jack cheese and Colonel's Sauce. This product is so meaty, there’s no room for a bun!"

We say: "The Double Down comes in two versions – Original Recipe or Grilled and the nutrition information is below."

We call this the double don't. The low-carb trend is passé, so why ditch the bun for two chicken breasts? This seems like something that a child might create if left alone in the kitchen. We double dare you not to try it!

The damage: 90 minutes of the Chicken Dance to undo one Double Down.

Taco Bell's XXL Chalupa

650 calories
39 g fat
9 g saturated fat
1,300 mg sodium

They say: "An XXL-sized crispy Chalupa shell packed with seasoned ground beef, crispy lettuce, fiesta salsa, a blend of three cheeses–cheddar, pepper jack and mozzarella–and nacho cheese sauce, red strips and topped with reduced-fat sour cream."

We say: After reading the description of this oversized, deep-fried taco creation, we laughed. It's topped with "reduced-fat sour cream." Does anyone else find that last-ditch effort to save calories and fat humorous?

The damage: a run from Nestor in San Diego to the actual border (about 6.5 miles at a 10-minute mile pace)!


Cheesecake Factory Cheese Crunch Burger

1,000+ estimated calories

They say: "American and Cheddar Cheese, Crunchy Potato Crisps, Lettuce, Tomato, Grilled Onions, Pickles and Secret Sauce."

We say: The Cheesecake Factory's menu is thicker than many novels, and the restaurant does not disclose nutrition info. Portions are massive. Burgers are called "glamburgers" there, but the menu doesn't offer much info--and the sauce is a secret. Sometimes silence speaks louder than words.

The damage: 220 minutes of belly dancing to keep this off your gut!

IHOP Cinna-Stack Pancakes

1,010 calories
51 g fat
15 g saturated fat
1,920 mg sodium
35 g sugar

They say: "A stack of four fluffy buttermilk pancakes layered with a luscious cinnamon roll filling, drizzled with rich cream cheese icing and topped with whipped topping."

We say: The emphasis on "cake" with these pancakes--they're sweet enough to make Willy Wonka cringe! (There's about 2 1/2 tablespoons!) Plus, there's more than a tablespoon of salt! That's without any added breakfast meat, which can add on up to 180 calories, 16 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, and 290 mg sodium. This meal will leave your head spinning from the sugar high!

The damage: burn off your sugar high by IHOP-ping for 85 minutes.

Olive Garden Lasagna Fritta

1,030 calories
63 g fat
21 g saturated fat
1,590 mg sodium

They say: "Parmesan-breaded lasagna pieces, fried and served over alfredo sauce, topped with parmesan cheese and marinara sauce."

We say: Fritta means fried. Lasagna is an already decadent dish, with layers of cheese, noodles and sauce. Now it's coated in more cheese, fried and smothered in Alfredo sauce. How much more can we do to this lasagna? (This is an appetizer, by the way!)

The damage: 333 minutes of tending to your own garden!

Denny's Fried Cheese Melt Sandwich

1,260 calories
63 g fat
21 g saturated fat
3,010 mg sodium

They say: "Grilled cheese with a twist. Four fried mozzarella sticks and melted American cheese grilled between two slices of sourdough bread. Served with wavy-cut French fries and a side of marinara sauce."

We say: "The Fried Cheese Melt Sandwich is on the $4 value menu, but we don't see much nutritional value in it. There's not a vegetable in sight aside from French fries and a side of marinara sauce, and it has more sodium and saturated fat than we should eat in a day."

The damage: Get comfortable on the treadmill. You could be there for 6 1/2 hours! (Bet you wish you'd skipped the French fries now!)

Burger King Ultimate Breakfast Platter

1,310 calories
72 g fat
26 g saturated fat
2,490 mg sodium

They say: "The BK Ultimate Breakfast Platter lives up to its name with scrambled eggs, crispy hash browns, sizzling sausage, a warm, flaky biscuit, and three fluffy pancakes with syrup. Anything less, and it wouldn't deserve to be called the 'ultimate.' "

We say: Good rule of thumb: Platters are for serving food to many people, not for one person to use as a plate. While this meal has all your breakfast cravings covered: sweet, salty, meaty, crispy, and fluffy, it also has enough calories to sustain someone for a day. It also has more than a day's worth of salt and saturated fat.

The damage: You'll need to work an entire 8-hour shift at a busy restaurant serving up breakfast platters to burn this off!

Friendly's Grilled Cheese Burger Melt

1,500 calories
79 g fat
38g saturated fat
2,090 mg sodium

They say: "A Big Beef burger between two hot grilled cheese sandwiches, with lettuce, tomato and mayo. Tasting is believing."

We say: A real triple threat… to your arteries! Essentially this is three sandwiches in one. And it's served with fries, which add 330 calories, 14 g fat, 160 mg sodium.

The damage: Get friendly with the elliptical. You'll spend almost three hours on it!

Applebee’s Provolone-Stuffed Meatballs with Fettuccine

1,580 calories
98 g fat
46 g saturated fat
3,940 mg sodium

They say: Nothing. The name and photo says it all for this grand prize "winner."

We say: This dish is on the 2 for $20 menu, which gets you one appetizer and two entrees for $20. All of the appetizers have at least one fried component, so you can add on another couple hundred calories to this meal. There's nothing green on the plate, but you'll get two days' worth of saturated fat, plus a day and a half's worth of salt. Some value!

The damage: You and your dining companion should hit the courts after dinner if you can move. You'll be playing tennis for four hours!

When you're away from home, it's not impossible to make healthy choices and still indulge yourself. Check out our Dining Out Guide, along with the blog series Food on the Run and Diet Friendly Dining.

Have you tried any of these foods? What did you think? Would you try any of them?

* calories burned based on a 5'4" woman who weighs 140 pounds

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Oh my goodness! This is an eye opener! Report
Ugh. Report
Great info. Thanks Report
What are the worst and best choices for 2016? Report
This article did not convince not to eat a McRib. I personally love them and if I'm careful I can have them now and then. Report
This article is soooooo old. Report
This article is 2 years old? Anything newer out there? Report
That is crazy. Report
Good heavens!!! I'm glad I can't afford to eat out. Report
Those meals are worse than when a drunk like skunk guy invited me and a eloping couple to his house for dinner.
Worse than a biscuit at BJ..., worse than chicken fried at C..., worse than a Rueben at A..., or a veggie burger at B... Report
OMG!!!!!! Noooooo!!!!! What a eye -opener!!!!!! Report
These are really sad foods. Is it possible to see a newer food list? That would be great, thank you! Report
Wow! Fried lasagna...double whammy! I have the best results on a diet when I eat out a very minimal amount. Even the low cal menu items are loaded with sodium. Now I'm like the other poster...some of these sound good but people won't admit it. That doesn't mean we should eat them. But I'd be willing to bet most folks don't get a salad when eating out. Report
I've never tried any of these but I have thought about a couple of them before getting into spark. Report
ew,,, Report
I am happy to say that I've never seen any of those in Australia. They are just over the top! Report
I would never say I make the best dining out choices. But I would have to say I would never want anyone to see me eating most of those items. I would be embarrassed. Perhaps the McRib if I liked ribs, but none of the others. Report
I have not and after reading this I definitely WILL NOT!!! I prefer to work out to make my body healthy than to undo damage! Report
Yuck! To think I once enjoyed some very similar gross meals. Report
Before my success using Spark People in eating a healthier diet, a lot of these dishes would have appealed to me, but now they actually sound very unappetizing to say the least! Report
This article is hilarious. I loved it. Report
OMG. Just looking at that stuff has made me sick to my stomach. How can people EAT that garbage. I dont think even I (the human trash can) would be able to stomach THAT. BLECH!!! Report
And what do they ALLLLL have in common? Animal products. Meat and dairy - bad for your health, bad for your weight, terrible for the planet and bad for your karma. How many overweight vegans do you see? What's the best protein for the human body? Hemp. Report
Never had this items, but WHOA! still surprising how bad they are! To know the actual calorie intake and what that does to your body takes so much away from what we think its "yummy". Love these eye opening articles! Report
It's so true what one of our members said, cut way back on carb intake! Report
None of those foods sound fact they are things I would never think of trying. And people wonder why Americans have hugely distorted ideas of what what food is or should be. Report
Ugh. I work at Applebee's. Ever since I decided to lose weight, I stopped eating there entirely. Even the Weight Watchers and Under 550 Calories meals are chock full of fat and sodium. No, thanks! Report
all i can say is,'OMG' Report
Most of these things look and sound sooooo good, but to me it's not worth it to spend my entire day's worth of eating on one meal....That's been the hardest thing for me to get used to, not shoveling in 1500 calories each meal!!! Report
I was feeling ill just reading the descriptions. The people who have created these monstrosities should be ashamed of themselves. Why do these people think it is okay to put these items on menus. Do they trully not care about the health of our nation. Report
I think I gained 5 lbs just reading It all sound so yummy but I've come to realize that food is costing me my life and it's not worth it anymore :) Report
My objection to all these foods that have been cited is not the fat, protein, or even the salt. In my opinion, it's the carbs in the form of white flour and sugar in the breadings, breads, pancakes, syrup etc......

Although I think is a wonderful site for support, I'm wondering (and ever hopeful) when the realization is going to dawn on everyone here that carbohydrates are what is driving insulin, which is driving fat storage, which is leading to all the health problems many of us readers are complaining about.

I hope this site gets with the times soon; it will save a lot of readers a lot of grief and struggle.......

This past year I've had or tryed the double down, xxl chulupa, mcrib, cinna station pancakes, and the provolone stuffed meatballs... and seeing that list shows me why I starting having health probs alomg with significient weight gain. I'm happy to say last month I did something to change my life forever .. ill never ever touch any of those again plus any fast food for that matter . That double down def is horrible of the five on how comfortable ur body feels after eating it. Lol Report
All the righteous indignation and "ewww, that sounds soooo grooosss" comments make me scoff. We're all on this site because we are trying to lose or maintain lost weight - you KNOW that ALL the junk on that list look delicious and amazing. Don't even lie. We choose not to eat those things because we don't want to be obese, but to everyone that;s feigning disgust at all the cheesy goodness (unless you're a vegan) - dishonesty is not good either. Just sayin'. Report
I've had the Applebee's Provolone.... meal. It's realy good. I would eat the whole thing too. But then I tried eating half of it and save the rest for the next day. I realized how much calories it had and now I try to chose a healthier meal when I go there. Report
Olive Gardens lasagna fritta is Heaven. But after seeing this, I will have to re-think this choice. Maybe if I split it with a friend and just have a salad with it, that would be fine. We usually order this with the soup, salad, and breadsticks. Luckily, I don't eat out too often! Report
AWW MANNN! I had no idea the McRib was so bad! Haven't had one in years, but I did like that one. Oh well, another one bites the dust... Report
Happy to say I have never had any of these and never plan to either! Report
I use to be able to eat these thing and not gain an ounce. Now that I am older I got to watch every bit I take and then it seems like I can gain 10 lbs on a glass of water. I need to get back in the country so I can grow my own food or catch it or kill it what ever I have to do. To keep out all those additives they add to our good ftesh food to make it grow faster and bigger. I've been watching my sodium intake and there isn't anything out there that doesn't have more sodium in it that isn't over the linit I am allowed and to think when I was a teen, I was told I needed to eat more salt; my doctor told me to just pour out a teaspoon of salt and eat it at least once a day. Now I don't add salt to nothing I cook. My Hubby aske the other day where is the salt? I told him not in anything I cook. Report
Wow, how surprising that the worst foods are @ fast food places! Should be a no brainer that those places and all pre-packaged foods are not very good for you at all. I will only occasionally, while on the road back and forth between Houston and Nashville, stop @ a Taco Bell. I order a bean burrito without cheese and put my own homemade salsa verde on it. It's wonderful being vegan! Report
So glad i didn't try any of these Report
OMG! I haven't even heard of most of these! The ones I had, sounded disgusting then, even worse now. I'm not surprised at the nutritional values, just that someone actually thought up some of these disasters! The pancakes sound kinda good if they were served in moderation, but pancakes are a weakness for me! I guess it's good we don't have a Dennys! Report
going to applebees is a great place with several meals under 550 calories. But, stuffed meatballs do sound verygood Report
What a scary list to read! I'm so glad to be able to say that I have never eaten a single item on that list! Report
@ ALIBEE82... you're telling me!

I wonder if someone will jump out and shout "April Fool!" after all these coronary dishes. Report
I'm so glad we don't get these things over here in Scotland! The only one I've seen here is the McRib as a guest burger. Don't know how you guys in the US do it! Must be so easy to fall off the wagon! Report
Oh, geeze....these make me wanna barf. Well, except for the McRib--I have to admit I like that one... LOL Report
No wonder obesity is an epidemic and heart disease is the number 1 cause of death in this country! I started to get chest pains just reading those numbers! Report
My husband had the cinnestack at IHOP and I told him I thought I gained 5 lbs. just looking at it. Report
i used to be able to polish off 4 or 5 mc ribs (plus fries and a few double cheese burgers and a mc chicken or two)... i am so happy to be a non-fast food eater now... i can't believe how much damage i did to myself without even thinking about it... Report