KFC’s Double Down Sandwich: It’s Survival of the Fittest – Literally!

I watched Supersize Me! and enjoyed it. An interesting documentary on the evils of fast food and their ploy to get you to buy more. But to blame fast food chains for our country’s struggle with obesity?

I don’t buy it.

KFC has recently introduced the Double Down Sandwich. Two fried chicken pieces (you can also choose grilled), two different kinds of cheese, two pieces of bacon and sauce. No bread. An Atkins dream sandwich. Complete with approximately 540 calories and 32 grams of fat.

I won’t buy it.

I’ll say that again.

I won’t buy it.

It’s all about personal choice. It’s about respecting what we put in our bodies on a daily basis. It’s about making an informed decision about what we fuel our bodies with.

There’s even a group, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, that wants a warning label slapped on the wrapper: “WARNING — Eating meat can contribute to obesity in children, and can increase their risk for heart disease, diabetes and cancer.”

Seriously? A warning label on fast food? And focusing on meat? Not fried foods or empty added calories. No, we’re going to vilify meat. Where was the outrage with the Big Mac (540 cal. 29 fat grams)? Or the Whopper (670 calories 39 fat grams)?

And wait….it gets worse. Wendy’s Chicken Caesar Salad – 500 calories 34 fat grams. Popeye’s Deluxe Tame Sandwich – 728 calories 38 fat grams. Taco Bell Fiesta Taco Salad – 860 calories 46 fat grams.

And KFC’s own Crispy Twister Sandwich – 670 calories 38 fat grams. Where was the outrage when that sandwich was introduced?

The fast food industry is not responsible for what we put in our mouths. If you believe they are, then I’ve got a mountain in Georgia to sell you. WE are responsible for what we eat and WE are responsible for what our children eat.

You can advertise until you’re blue in the face, choking on your own cigarette but I am never going to smoke. Ever. You can sing the praises of  diet this and diet that with your artificial sweeteners but I won’t touch the stuff.

Now, I’m no food saint. I have my addictions and unhealthy cravings. Coke (a-Cola, that is) is my vice. On February 1st, I gave it up. Cold turkey. For the first time in my life. 1. To see if I could do it. 2. Because I knew my habit was out of control. 3. Because I finally put my health before one of my vices.

Now, I’ve had a few Cokes since I gave it up. Yes, I caved. But I can count how many on one hand. I am now treating Coca-Cola as a ……treat. As it should be. Something that can be enjoyed every once in a while – not every day. Just like ice cream. Just like desserts. And yes, just like fast food.

I’m not perfect. I’m going to slip up. I’m going to make unhealthy choices every once in a while. I just hope I can keep my mistakes infrequent. And I won’t be blaming some advertisement or fast food chain for my slip-ups.

Before we blame the fast food industry for our expanding waistlines, riddle me this…who is buying what they sell? Who races to the store after the new ad campaign to fill their bellies with 600 calorie treats?


Not me.

‘Cause I’m not buyin’ it.


Filed under Soapbox

25 responses to “KFC’s Double Down Sandwich: It’s Survival of the Fittest – Literally!

  1. suzicate

    Excellent post, Jane. As Americans, we have become a nation of people quick to blame anyone but ourselves. WE are responsible for what we put in our mouths. Thanks for that reminder. Timely, as I’ve given up the majority of my junk food, coffee, and taken up exercise….Ok, ok, I’m only on day 6, but at least I’m trying!!!!!!

  2. Yup. I’m always shaking my head at the talent down here for blaming the other guy for individual choices. It’s a national phenomenon. I make stupid choices too, but they’re my choices It’s only when people own their choices that they own their lives. And I only have one life. I want it to be MINE–not the life some fast food joint’s ad campaign chooses for me, thank you very much.

  3. Great post!

    My eldest son had to read Fast Food Nation as a summer project. He hasn’t had fast food since! I’m still trying not to drink Coca-Cola either. I look at it as a treat as well. But the first few days were rough.

  4. Go Jane!
    I agree completely. I don’t eat stuff that’s not healthy, like fast food, very often. Maybe 3 McDonald’s cheeseburgers a year. And when I eat junk it’s a treat, like you said. I want to be around a long time!
    I do think tho, that some people have a really hard time resisting. And what about kids whose parents don’t provide healthy choices. By the time they’re making their own choices, they need uber education and willpower to overcome what they’ve already learned. And not everyone has that. I don’t get why they keep making more sandwiches and stuff like this when we all know it shortens our lives. Imagine if companies had to be more responsible?? In the end tho, you’re right that what goes into our mouths is our own choice.

  5. angelcel

    Oh boy. *Huge* subject. (No pun intended). I heard the other day that Jamie Oliver has started a healthy eating campaign over there and I suspect he will have about as much success as he did here on his home turf in the UK (i.e. not much). The sad fact is that we have more access to more information than we ever have before but governments *still* think we need warnings and re-education. Is there *seriously* anyone out there who thinks a Big Mac and fries constitutes healthy eating? I think not.

    To be fair, fast food is a bit of an addiction. I read long ago that a particular fat prevalent in fast food meals is addictive and a very recent study that suggests the fat +starch combination has been shown to stimulate an area of the brain that is associated with addiction. The bottom line here is that warnings won’t make a jot of difference. If it’s the type of fat that is the problem, or the levels of fat + starch in any one meal then our governments should stop playing around with silly measures that target ‘the user’ and instead look at steps to to target ‘the supplier’.

  6. Hooray! Someone advocating personal responsibility! YES!

    Nobody is forcing that food down people’s gullets. I just shake my head when obesity is blamed on restaurants or certain foods.

  7. Ink

    That sandwich may be the most disgusting food thing I’ve ever seen. The picture made my stomach hurt! Eeeeeeek!

    (You know, KFC could be raking in tons more money by going in the other direction…lean grilled chicken with whole wheat wraps and veggies, for example. There’s a gigantic market for healthier fast food!)

  8. You are so right. It disgusts me to no end that it is more expensive to eat healthy than to eat poorly…that is one good reason why our population is obese. $1 can buy you…one bag of carrots…or a cheeseburger…if you only have $1 and you’re starving, literally, what would you choose? That makes me nuts! It should totally be the other way around so that people who choose (you are so right!) to eat crap have to pay through the nose!!! Plus, on the selfish side, I’d like to see my grocery bill go down for all the healthy stuff we eat!!

    Awesome post as always, Jane!

  9. I couldn’t agree with you more! No one forces us to eat healthy or unhealthy food. We make that decision on our own. I don’t need the food police to warn me about what I’m putting in my mouth, or monitor it. Or even tax it!

    I’ve worked on a local McDonald’s account and must commend them for at least offering more healthy alternatives for kids and adults. But then, there’s the McSkillet breakfast burrito at a whopping 8.4 ounces and 610 calories…330 from fat. Will I buy it? No. But I’m sure someone exercise their free will and have it for breakfast.

    Where does the blame game end and personal responsibility begin?

  10. Oh wow. This is a toughy.

    I completely agree that ultimately it is an individual’s choice.

    I also know how addictive processed food is….between the sugars, fats, and salts….it is very hard for some people to physiologically turn away. Yes, it is their life. Saying it is simply ‘choice’, may become questionable when their body physically reacts differently, though. Will power only works for so long……usually in a inverse relationship to time. So, some people need a skill set to compensate. Especially children who never were taught or ever experienced healthy eating.

    Then add to the addiction, the CHEAPNESS. Period. Fresh food is and always will be expensive. It is harder to grow, transport, etc. Processed food is loaded with all kinds of synthetics. Yuck….but cheap.

    Not to mention the USDA food chart is whack based on our physiologiy.

    ….and DON’T get me started on lack of exercise…..

    Sorry to be all Debbie-Downer. Good discussion:)

  11. Stephen Colbert has been talking about the Double Down.

    From the looks of it, I think Double Over might be a better name.

  12. Personal responsibility is SO KEY, as obvious as it may seem, to being healthy! But about those weaknesses — in my case, for fried things — dammit, the chicken is distracting in that picture. Not all of it for single-sitting consumption, but one patty on its own … 🙂

  13. I agree with you. And the people who said it sucks that fast food is cheaper in many cases than wholesome food. And the person who thought the fried chicken part looked delicious. But stuff like this sandwich, and deep-fried Mars bars and hamburgers with five patties and triple-this with supersize that just make me roll my eyes at one more monument to excess. And unless someone’s holding a gun to our head pointing us toward the drive-through, if we go that way too often it’s our own damned fault. Maybe the warning labels should be on our foreheads: ‘warning: prone to making moronic choices which may lead to obesity, brain damage, mixing prints, listening to Michael Bolton and premature death’.

  14. I don’t blame the fast food industry at all. But I do think we need to look at food sources, government subsidies, school lunches, free meals provided to poor children and all that. A lot of people truly don’t know anything about nutrition and too often those people are the ones living poverty.

    • I am all for personal responsibility, but I have to agree with Rebecca on this one: many poor neighborhoods lack grocery stores (many only have the equivalent of 7-11s that don’t stock produce) and restaurant options other than fast food. So I don’t think there is always a choice involved when it comes to buying cheap, filling food.

  15. This is a hard one. I agree with everything you say about personal responsibility, but I also think people who want to make smart choices aren’t able to, because they don’t have the information they need (or the educational background to know what information they need or where to get it, even if it’s available). People should take the time to read the nutritional information at fast food restaurants, but they don’t. Sometimes it’s because they don’t care enough, but other times it’s because they don’t know the info is available or because they think they already have the info they need – i.e., they think if they order a salad, they are being healthy, even if it’s a chicken caesar with more fat than a double hamburger. I guess my point is, while warning labels may not be the solution, I do think companies should be required to make nutritional info more readily available to their consumers. At least make it so people know where to get it if they want it.

    Great post!!!!

  16. You’re right. Fast food caters to people who want it. If people stopped wanting it and buying it, perhaps the food would change. I read Fast Food Nation and watched Supersize Me, and will not eat food from restaurants like KFC.

    I think the bigger problem is processed foods in general, but they are popular for myriad reasons, one of which is their fast preparation.

    The picture of that sandwich above is a bit horrifying. Yuck.

  17. unabridgedgirl

    The picture alone makes me want to throw-up. Just. Gross. I don’t buy it either, by the way – – the whole fast food industry is to blame thing. People are ready to pass blame instead of taking responsibility for their own healthly living choices.

    Also, since giving up Diet Coke, I’ve slipped a few times, too. But I can also count on my hand how many I’ve had. I love that you call it a treat! 🙂

  18. Bravo! I think America’s eating habits have gotten out of control and we are literally dying from it. Obesity has become the #1 cause of preventable death, surpassing cigarettes. That is just plain scary. We need self control and nutrition education pronto.

  19. I enjoyed Supersize Me! too, as an interesting, entertaining and often informative piece of performance art – but I don’t buy it, either. (Figuratively. Because of course, occasionally, I do buy it. And regret it.)
    Oh, if we all could side with responsibility and moderation over blame-shifting.
    Sidenote: I said hi to Morgan Spurlock several years ago in the Missouri state Capitol, where I was working in the press corps and he was working on I-don’t-know-what. He looked familiar, but not famous-familiar, so I thought I knew him. Nope.

  20. Steven Harris

    You wonlt buy it? But it’s buy one get one free this week 😉
    I quite agree. People ought to take responsibility for what they eat. I try to. Well, apart from one dooughnut when I was at school. A bully forced me to shove it into my mouth in one go and not lick my lips or he’d hit me. Lucky for him I have not grown up obese or he’d be hearing from my lawyer. 😀

  21. So true! We can’t blame other people for what WE eat (unless you are a child and don’t have much choice) – and for the record, the picture of that double heartache in a bun doesn’t even look remotely appetizing to me! Yuck!

    I am a self proclaimed junk food lover but I do try to be careful about it – especially since my metabolism took a nose-dive at about 35! lol

  22. Just catching up on blogs here.

    Amen. I’ll say it again: A-MEN! If people stopped buying it, they’d run out of business and couldn’t sell. Logic, 101. You can thank me later.

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