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Report Says Popular Chains Worst for Waistline

From Patrick Huguenin and Nicole Lyn Pesce of the New York Daily News: There's a supersized secret about what chain restaurants are the worst for your waistline.

And no, it's not Mickey D's or the B.K. - they don't even make the list of the worst.

A new report finds you'll really pack on the pounds if you're a regular at popular chains like T.G.I. Friday's, Chili's, Applebee's and The Cheesecake Factory.

Heaping portions, deep-fried dishes and appetizers the size of entrées are the culprits, say the folks in Washington who put out the Nutrition Action Healthletter.

"You're essentially looking at 2,000-calorie meals, which is what most people should have in an entire day," said registered dietitian Jayne Hurley, who wrote the belt-loosening report.

"I was on the Web a few months ago - again, looking at numbers that are online - and I thought, 'Oh my God, as if this can get any worse!' And it had," she said.

"You used to decide, Do I want the chicken Parmesan? Do I want the lasagna? Do I want the chicken Alfredo? None of them lightweights by themselves.

"But now, go to Romano's Macaroni Grill, go to Olive Garden, you can get all three on one plate. And of course that's without the complimentary unlimited breadsticks and salad."

Hurley's aptly named report is called "Xtreme Eating 2009: Care for an Entrée with Your Entrée?"

Hurley is the senior nutritionist at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nonprofit in Washington that publishes the Nutrition Action Healthletter.

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