The pub group’s large breakfast option had the highest calorie content (1531 kcal), salt levels (18.3g) and saturated fat (40.2g) of 11 major operators which serve breakfast.
The published salt content of the breakfast is more than three times an adult’s recommended maximum intake of 2-6g.
Harvester’s ultimate breakfast bap was the second most calorific at 1,307 kcal while Wimpy’s all day breakfast was third with 900 kcal.
Harvester’s Belgian waffles were the sweetest option, with 77.4g of sugar, while Wetherspoons’ MOMA! Porridge with banana and honey was second with 64.3g.
GP Dr Wayne Osborne, of healthcare website Treated.com, carried out the research, and praised the 11 brands featured in the analysis for publishing the nutritional information on their websites, and making it easy to find.
Calorific breakfast options
He found the most calorific breakfast options on offer at percieved higher-end brands like Costa Coffee and Pret a Manger were surprisingly close in calorie value to options available at McDonald’s and Burger King.
Dr Osborne also highlighted healthy breakfast options, such as Harvester’s avocado, tomato salsa, poached eggs and toasted muffin, with 421 calories and 1.6 grams of salt, and Wetherspoons’ smoked salmon, cream cheese and rocket bagel, with 410 calories and 0.8 grams of salt.
He said: “The less healthy breakfast dishes we’ve explored are intended to be at most a one-off or occasional treat, and certainly aren’t intended to be consumed regularly.
“That said, provided you’re disciplined and consistently choose healthy options, frequenting chain outlets for breakfast can be a healthy (if more costly) alternative to preparing breakfast at home.”
A Wetherspoon spokesman said: “Wetherspoon pubs offer a choice of 23 different breakfasts.
“These include cooked breakfasts, gluten-free breakfast, fresh fruit and organic Greek-style yoghurt with honey, smoked salmon cream cheese and rocket bagel as well as porridge with fresh blueberries and brown sugar.
“Each Wetherspoon pub in the UK lists the calories of each meal on its menu as well as on the company’s website.
“People that choose to enjoy the big breakfast are aware of the calorie content.
“We would not lecture our customers on which breakfast to choose.
“However, Dr Osborne takes the Wetherspoon big breakfast out of context with all the other items on the Wetherspoon menu, with the calorie intake for other items ranging from 200 calories upwards.”
A spokeswoman for Harvester said: “We had already planned to remove the breakfast fruit waffles when we update our menu at the end of September.
“Harvester takes its nutritional responsibilities very seriously and our menus offer choice and healthier options for the entire family. Only last year, Harvester achieved a Soil Association Out to Lunch Awards where high street restaurants are scored on healthy choices, family friendly options and fresh food you can trust.
“We also regularly work with policy makers and suppliers on these issues and are exploring ways we can reduce the sugar levels in our dishes, as well as continuing to help our guests’ make informed decisions about what they eat and drink.”