Who was watching Applebee's Weight Watcher meals?

One of the greatest challenges Weight Watchers members face is dining out.

Few restaurants pay more than lip service to low-cal foods, preferring to hustle the high-profit fried menu. When Applebee's introduced a menu of meals designed with the weight watcher in mind, their problem was solved. At least, they thought so.

However, last year Scripps News hired a food lab to test the calorie count of foods from Applebee's, Chili's, Taco Bell and others. It found that some dishes contained up to double the calories and eight times the fat claimed on the menu.

Shortly thereafter, law firms from around the country began filing suits against Applebee's parent company, DIneEquity Inc. (NYSE:DIN) and Weight Watchers on behalf of all those unfortunate overweight people who had eaten from this menu in the past four years.

No doubt, the 200 extra calories caused them more emotional anguish than the boxes of Twinkies, bags of Kettle-style chips, or pony kegs of Miller Light they devoured on their climb up the scale.