The Worst Food of 2014

December 16, 2014   32 Comments

This year’s worst food is really more of a concept. Though I will be flaming a particular entity.

Worst Food 2014

As I sat (buns nestled happily in my couch) watching sports this weekend, I noticed an ad for Applebee’s that was on repeat. It promised:

Free refills of fries that never end. Seriously. They never end.

All I had to do to get this unlimited fries was order a burger called “All-In” – the American Standard, Mushroom Swiss, Triple Bacon (because double bacon isn’t enough), and Sweet Asian Pineapple.

After hearing this, I wanted to go to Applebee’s to experience the avalanche of fries but then I made the mistake of looking at the nutritional information on Applebee’s website.

All American Burger:

1030 calories, 71 g fat, 27 g saturated fat, 48 g carbohydrates, 10 g sugar, 50 g protein, 2 g fiber, 2020 mg sodium, 28 Points+

Classic Fries:

440 calories, 20 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 59 g carbohydrates, 0 g sugar, 5 g protein, 5 g fiber, 770 mg sodium, 12 Points+

With one serving fries, I am looking at 1470 calories and 91 grams of fat in my meal. That is the last time I look at nutrition information (ha!).

I decided to call my local Applebee’s and ask how you get never ending fries. The server told me:

“When you want more, you just ask for more and the server will bring you them.”

“Has anyone asked for more?” (me, incredulous)

“Yep, but the most one person has asked for is four more servings.”

FOUR MORE SERVINGS? Maybe they had a cooler under their chair and were storing them for later. Or a hollow leg?

I think the concept of a 1000 calorie burger and unlimited fries is BAD.

Now some of you are going to point out that Applebee’s has lighter options and if you are serious about your health – you don’t have to order the killer burger and mountain of fries. I hear you!

BUT, most people want a deal. They don’t want a scrawny piece of dried up chicken breast and a pile of soggy vegetables for MORE than it costs for a burger and fires.

My question to you is – is it worth it? This isn’t a deal on a flat screen TV – this is food!

The quantity of food here is way out of control for one meal. I would rather have much less food that is higher quality for the price.

Please share your thoughts.

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I agree with you - 71 grams of fat OMG - I do think we need to know what is in what we eat....this is a horrible food choice even if you don't get extra fries- this is even off my chart of what I would consider a treat. What you eat makes a difference....choose wisely. You can treat yourself and still enjoy great tasting healthy food every single day.

I gagged just reading that information.. That is just horrible. I understand that they offer healthier options...but with a deal like that most people won't go for the healthy option. Shame on Applebee's

And we wonder why we have an obesity problem ?

To add insult to injury-look at the sodium counts. Yikes!!!!

Applebee's offers this because people will buy it. Even if the nutritional info is posted next to the item people will order it anyway. They do offer other healthy choices and some of them are actually good. I agree about social responsibility but at the same time they are a business - and one that has invested in their lighter menu. A lot of other chains offer the same bottomless fries and heart attack inducing burgers (I'm looking at you Red Robin) and they actively target kids as their demographic. That, to me is the major issue. We've stopped the tobacco and alcohol companies from marketing to kids - it's time to get the restaurant business in line too.

I don't agree. Applebees does a pretty good job in informing their customers about the nutritional value of their meals -- it's not like they hide behind "the deal". I think as responsible adults we know the difference between what we should be eating and what we want to be eating -- it is up to us to make the decision.

This is a crazy promotion, but you can find just as much horrible stuff in a grocery store. We have to take responsibility for what we eat. I find Applebee's lower calorie options very good. I've never had a shriveled chicken breast or soggy vegetables there. They also go all out for veterans so I'll continue to eat there.

The bottom line is the restaurant industry is SELLING food. The restaurant industry is not selling health. It is up to the consumer not to order this type of stuff. If this menu option is a big seller, you'll see more restaurants jumping on the bandwagon. Fried potatoes are cheap and they're hoping you'll order drinks and other foods to help their bottom line. It's all about their profits. Too bad it's going to cost the American public in other ways down the road ie obesity related illnesses. Diabetes, joint replacements, cardiac issues just to name a few. OMG, where will we all be in another 10 years if we keep up the pace we're on now? 65% of Americans are obese...sad state of affairs.

In defense of Applebys, their reduced calorie food is better than most--not dried up chicken breast. Anyone serious about healthy eating has to shut their eyes to more tempting stuff than burgers and endless fries. But thanks for the heads up. I appreciate all the information you provide.

Wow, that is my BMR right there in one meal!

Like so many other issues, we cannot - as a nation or as individuals - continue to blame others for our poor choices. Agreed that the numbers are mind blowing, but they are put there so that WE have the information needed to make an intelligent selection. If WE continue to ignore the hard facts and choose to eat food that is contributing to poor health and early death, WE must face the results.

I haven't been to Applebees in years. When I choose to eat at a restaurant, I make sure to go someplace where the food is made fresh and something I wouldn't normally make for myself or my family. In general, going to a restaurant is a special occasion treat. The restaurant industry isn't making us fat, we are. It's all in the choices you make. Be smart, eat smart.

I like fries. I do. I get an occasional craving for fries (like once a month). I head to McDonald's and order a small order of fries and drive around in my car eating them and I am in heaven for those 15-20 minutes. BUT...then I'm done. Craving over. I don't drive back to McD for 4 more orders! Good grief. Why do these restaurants tempt/reward gluttony? It gives our children the idea that this is something cool to do! It makes them think that ALL people eat this way. Applebees, help us out here. Start touting your healthy choices more than or at least as much as your crap food!

I avoid fries like the plague. Love 'em, but don't eat them. We're all responsible for the choices we make when we eat. 1470 calories between their burger and fries? Way too much for me!

Like anything else, people have choices. They can choose to eat their own food at home or they can eat at Applebee's and make healthy choices or not so healthy choices. All you can eat fries is something to get people in the door. One can only eat so many fries before they are full or sick. Applebee's is in business to make a profit and if they don't offer variety, they won't make a profit. We need to stop blaming others for our personal greed and gluttony.

Applebee's actually has a great low-calorie menu.

Thank you for this. Knowledge is power. Especially things like sugar and sodium. Most of know that the fat in bacon and deep fried foods can be bad but what about the 2790 mg of sodium in one serving!!! OMG!!

I personally order their House Salad and a baked potato most of the time. At Red Robin, I have seen small initial portions on their "bottomless" fries, and I think that if people have to ask, they may not. If a server suggests more fries, then there's trouble.

I agree 100% with Lisa, nobody should be getting unlimited fries! I gain five pounds just looking at a plate, sigh.

I also LOVE the "it is NOT a flat screen TV, it's food!" analogy. I will think of that next time I'm tempted to snack when I am not hungry, actually!

Let's stop the endless madness and offer unlimited salad!

Restaurants (in general) will make what people will buy. If no one is buying this, they will stop selling it. The restaurants can offer the endless fries knowing that it will intice quite a few people into their business for a meal, but how much more are they (the restaurant) really spending on those extra fries? Not much I imagine. Plus, they add it to what I assume is a pricey burger. They are a business trying to make money. They offer what people will eat. If people want healthy food, they will make it. If they want endless fries, they will make that too. Should they offer it - probably not. But they are putting the responsibility of ordering it with the consumer. If no one buys into the endless fries, they will stop the promotion and get a new one.

That should be "entice" not "intice". No autocorrect here. :(

Check out the book 'The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee's, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table'

It was a great read! The author went behind the scenes working as an actual worker in these different environments.

It will change the way you look at each of them--including Applebee's. :)

I'm becoming much more of a food narc as I get older. This doesn't sit well with all of my family, but luckily my husband & I are on the same page. We used to eat out a lot, twice a week sometimes; but no more. It's just too hard, at least where we live in the suburbs in Michigan, to find restaurants that offer fresh, healthy food. Applebees may have some options, but it's disgusting to me to hear about them encouraging such unhealthy behavior ... really bothers me!! I will not go there now because of this, because their healthy food options are overshadowed by mega portions, and I think they do mega cocktails, too! I'm with Jill ... Let's stop the endless madness and offer unlimited salad!

That is A LOT of calories. I've never ordered a triple anything and I usually can't finish one basket of fries. However I don't feel that it is the responsibility of anyone else to police what I eat. When I'm watching what I'm eating I go to the website of a restaurant and look up their calorie info. The knowledge of the calories you are sharing is good, but I don't think it's fair to slam Applebee's. It takes the consumer to order it.

Well, it's not a Hardee's Monster Thickburger. But that was so 2013.

Seriously? I didn't see this commercial! Lol wow. You know what Red Robins has been doing that for years! I went there once and let me just say it is all hype. The food is grody. I wouldn't even have a salad there.

I really like Applebee's but I always order from the lite menu, I have never even looked at the other. I guess that is a good thing.

I am always amazed at the amount of food some people can eat. I can't eat large amounts at one time, of course I can eat more an hour or so later.

I have to believe that anyone that would eat that much really doesn't care what they are putting into their body and doesn't want to be told.

we are what we eat! Three slices of dead pig

on top of a slab of dead cow. GROSS

People can't resist "free" this or "free" that "with purchase" no matter what the product. I'll wager that most people who go for this deal don't go for seconds. In fact most people may not be finishing this monster burger. Either way, it's to each his own as far as I'm concerned. I taught my girls not to overeat anything. People need to make their own decisions regarding their eating lifestyle. And yes, it starts at home teaching your children. Applebee's is just a business trying to get more business. Just say no.

Applebee's isn't the only restaurant to offer unlimited fries. Red Robin offers unlimited fries with any meal. They've even brought us fries when nobody ordered fries when the food was running late. Once, when nobody even asked for them. (Talk about a diet nightmare!) They will also bring seconds on the kids' Macaroni & Cheese & other sides if you ask. My 7yo rarely orders fries, but the little cup of fruit isn't really enough for her.

I like fries like the next person but endless? Is that necessary? And what the heck are they frying them in to make that high in fat?! Goodness gracious!

There are certainly problems with this meal but calories and saturated fat are not them. The problems are the combination of processed sugar in the burger, processed sodium in the burger and fries, and the cheap, overcooked, rancid vegetable oils used in making both the burger and the fries. 1400 or more calories in a meal isn't that impressive for me personally but I also only eat 1-2 times in a day.

I never was able to order the 'free refill' part with the burger because, even though I got there after 4 pm, the time the free refill with a burger started, the server informed me that they didn't do that anymore! I then commented on their Facebook page and was told that they 'sure do' this so which is the case? No free refill fries so I ordered chips instead.

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