What could be healthier than carrots? Eating 1,550 Calories of carrots, white flour, white sugar, butter and cream cheese perhaps?
What could drive a person to eat so much food after a full meal? You guessed it... food reward. The calorie density, sugar, starch, and fat, combined into an easy-to-swallow package, is compelling enough to drive some people to eat nearly a days' worth of calories-- despite having already overeaten at the preceding meal.
To be fair, some people will share the dessert or take part of it home. However, even if you only eat half, that's still 775 Calories. The fact that an enormous piece of cake is sitting in front of you sets an unspoken expectation that you'll eat the whole thing (a "framing effect"). When you only eat half, you feel like you've restrained yourself, when in an absolute sense you've still overeaten tremendously. One solution is to have the waiter bring out a box, and immediately place 4/5 of the cake into the box-- out of sight. Another solution is to share one serving among many people.
My preferred solution is to eat at home rather than at the Cheesecake Factory, and have an apple for dessert.
Photo courtesy of TripAdvisor