Why Chipotle Can Make You Fat

A New York Times report on “fast casual” restaurants shows that the meals from such establishments can really pile on the calories. In fact, one meal might have a day’s worth of calories or more.


The times looked at restaurants like Chipotle, which are a growing trend of restaurants where people can customize their orders by adding ingredients and toppings to sandwiches, burritos, and other meals.

Sampling 3,000 online orders from GrubHub.com to such stores, the Times tried to discern what people actually order at such restaurants and how healthily they eat. At Chipotle restaurants, they found that the typical order has about 1,070 calories, more than half of the calories that most adults are supposed consume a day. It found that a typical burrito, with the addition of cheese, salsa, sour cream, lettuce, rice and beans, can really pack on the calories. Even small orders, such as bowls and tacos can easily surpass 570 calories, says the Times. Additionally, such orders can really pack on the sodium and saturated fat.

The Times found that it was easy to surpass 2,000 calories when ordering at Chipotle and such orders are not unheard of, but said that 98% of the orders had less than that amount. Says the Times: 

"The easiest way to get there is to order chips and guacamole: 770 calories. You’ll also need to say yes to the toppings – like both cheese and sour cream on a burrito. After a meal like that, you typically will have already reached your daily recommended amount of saturated fat and salt. In most cases, you’ll be well on your way to tomorrow’s recommended intake, too."

Read the New York Times report here.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card

Close

Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.