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What's worse for you than fast food? Lotsa things.

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To quote the late, great king of schizophrenic rock, Wesley Willis: "McDonald's will make you fat!" He was onto something, of course, but now watchdog group Center for Science in the Public Interest is saying that lots of American restaurants will make you fat -- and moreso than ever before -- despite recent alarm bells that obesity in our fair nation is reaching epidemic proportions. "Rather than compete to make their products healthier, restaurant chains are competing with each other to make their appetizers, main courses, and desserts bigger, badder, and cheesier than ever before," a CPSI report said.

If this isn't exactly surprising, then we here at the floss thought that some of the stats they quoted were. The Cheesecake Factory's super-indulgent Chris' Outrageous Chocolate Cake, for instance, is a 1,380-calorie feast-ival which is the equivalent of "two Quarter Pounders plus a large fries - for dessert." (Wesley Willis, eat your heart out!) The Cheesecake Factory's cheesecake? 610 calories and 29 grams of saturated fat -- that's like eating an 8 oz. prime rib ... for dessert.

More fun stats (from the watchdog group's "10 foods you should NEVER eat" list) after the jump!

The Starbucks Venti (20 oz.) Caffè Mocha with whipped cream is more than a mere cup of coffee. Think of it as a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in a cup. Few people have room in their diets for the 490 calories and 16 grams of bad fat that this hefty beverage supplies. But you can lose all the bad fat and all but 170 calories if you order a tall (12 oz.) with nonfat milk and no whipped cream.

Unless you're suicidal, why on earth would you want to wolf down a Burger King Quad Stacker "“ 4 hamburger patties, 4 slices of cheese, 8 strips of bacon, plus sauce and a bun? That's half-a-day's calories (1,000), one-and-a-half-days' worth of saturated fat (30 grams), 3 grams of trans fat, and more than a day's sodium (1,800 mg). Urp!

A Mint Chip Dazzler at Häagen-Dazs stores (three scoops of ice cream, hot fudge, Oreos, chocolate sprinkles, and whipped cream) has 1,270 calories and 38 grams of saturated fat "“ that's two days' worth. Think of it as a portable T-bone steak with Caesar salad, and baked potato with sour cream. But that's dinner "“ yet many people have a Dazzler as a dessert after lunch and dinner!

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Big Questions
What's the Difference Between Vanilla and French Vanilla Ice Cream?
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While you’re browsing the ice cream aisle, you may find yourself wondering, “What’s so French about French vanilla?” The name may sound a little fancier than just plain ol’ “vanilla,” but it has nothing to do with the origin of the vanilla itself. (Vanilla is a tropical plant that grows near the equator.)

The difference comes down to eggs, as The Kitchn explains. You may have already noticed that French vanilla ice cream tends to have a slightly yellow coloring, while plain vanilla ice cream is more white. That’s because the base of French vanilla ice cream has egg yolks added to it.

The eggs give French vanilla ice cream both a smoother consistency and that subtle yellow color. The taste is a little richer and a little more complex than a regular vanilla, which is made with just milk and cream and is sometimes called “Philadelphia-style vanilla” ice cream.

In an interview with NPR’s All Things Considered in 2010—when Baskin-Robbins decided to eliminate French Vanilla from its ice cream lineup—ice cream industry consultant Bruce Tharp noted that French vanilla ice cream may date back to at least colonial times, when Thomas Jefferson and George Washington both used ice cream recipes that included egg yolks.

Jefferson likely acquired his taste for ice cream during the time he spent in France, and served it to his White House guests several times. His family’s ice cream recipe—which calls for six egg yolks per quart of cream—seems to have originated with his French butler.

But everyone already knew to trust the French with their dairy products, right?

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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science
Belly Flop Physics 101: The Science Behind the Sting
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Belly flops are the least-dignified—yet most painful—way of making a serious splash at the pool. Rarely do they result in serious physical injury, but if you’re wondering why an elegant swan dive feels better for your body than falling stomach-first into the water, you can learn the laws of physics that turn your soft torso a tender pink by watching the SciShow’s video below.

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