If we are what we eat, what does that say about Americans’ ongoing love affair with extreme food?Even in an era when consumers say they are increasingly opting for healthy choices, they continue to be intrigued by the novelty of piling a whole lot of calories—whether in the form of bacon, butter, or a hot dog—on top of a burger, pizza, or breadstick.

This is my third annual list chronicling the most over-the-top menu items introduced by restaurant chains during the year. As always, there are some epic constructions with four-digit calorie counts. Yet overall, fewer entries were as outlandishly gut-busting as in previous years. Is it perhaps the sign of a new era of restraint? Probably not.