City Launches MenuStat, Featuring Nutrition Data For Your Soon-To-Be Least Favorite Chain Restaurants
When I sit down to eat a sloppy tower of meat by-product stacked on soggy bread with wilted lettuce and questionable “secret” sauces, the last thing I really want to know is the awful, shudder-inducing details of what I’m cramming into my facehole.
The Department of Health doesn’t like my life of blissful ignorance, however, and so they’re making the knowledge quite available to me anyway, as if the calorie counts on the wall weren’t enough to shame this shambling mess of a man.
And so they’ve launched MenuStat, a public database of nutritional information for more than 35,000 dishes served up by 66 top chain eateries.
From the press release:
The site sources data from the restaurant websites, provides historical, date-stamped information, and puts it into a format that allows for comparison across restaurants, food categories, and over time.
… MenuStat is designed to be used by researchers, food industry professionals, health organizations and consumers interested in understanding nutrition trends. Users can search items by selecting specific criteria such as the calorie content of beverages on kids’ menus or the average grams of trans fat in fried potatoes, and, assess changes in nutrition content over time such as the sodium content of sandwiches in 2012 and 2013. The website also includes a graphing function and the option to export data to a spreadsheet for analysis.
Did you know that one additional meal consumed away from home increases daily caloric intake by more than 130 calories? Yeah, I didn’t either. Now I have that fact to keep me up at night.
In just a moment of playing around with the tool, I’ve learned that Dominos occupies the top eight slots for highest calorie count in a pizza, a category that has nearly 800 entries. Their Feast Pizza has between 2,760 and 4,580 calories, approximately double that of the top entry from the second restaurant named on the list, California Pizza Kitchen, whose California Club Pizza comes in with 1,400 calories.
There are some surprising results, though. Most would think a chain like McDonald’s or Burger King would near the top of the list for calorie counts on their squishy little meat patties. Alas, no, they don’t even come in on the list of top 70. Instead, Chili’s takes that fatso cake, with the top three spots for their burgers, the
best tasting most calorie-packed of which is the Big Mouth Bites Burger with Ranch, with 1,800 calories. Similar chains round out the top 20, including Friendly’s, Applebee’s and Denny’s.
Well, that’s gross. I’m eating a salad today. Just not at IHOP, because there’s a category for that, too.
And… just because: