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A plate of crispy battered shrimp, mushrooms, tomato and arugula tossed with spaghettini and a cream sauce have taken the cake as the most calorie-rich chain restaurant dish in America.

Packing a whopping 3120 calories, the Cheesecake Factory's Bistro Shrimp Pasta, which sells in Washington for $US17.95, loomed large on Wednesday over other gut-busting menu items on this year's Xtreme Eating Awards list.

The countdown of high-calorie entrees and desserts is put out by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington-based advocacy group focusing on health, nutrition and food safety.

Among other dishes under the Xtreme Eating spotlight are the 1980-calorie Deep Dish Macaroni and 3-Cheese at Uno Chicago Grill and a 1820-calorie Chocolate Zuccotto Cake at Maggiano's Little Italy.

By way of comparison, the average adult requires 2000 calories a day.

"It's as if . . . major restaurant chains are scientifically engineering these extreme meals with the express purpose of promoting obesity, diabetes, and heart disease," said the centre's executive director, Michael Jacobson.

More than one in three adults Americans, and around 17 per cent of the nation's youth, are obese, contributing to a higher risk of high blood pressure and type two diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.