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Is that right? KFC Double Down sandwich is "the vilest food product created by man"?

Have you read what they're saying about KFC's new Double Down sandwich? You know, the one that uses two fried chicken breasts in place of a bun, with bacon and cheese stuck in between?


"The Vilest Food Product Created by Man"

"Angina on a plate"

"Potentially lethal"

I'm in no hurry to try the Double Down when it makes its national debut on Monday. Nor am I going to defend it as a healthful meal choice. But those who think it's the worst thing you can order from a fast-food restaurant haven't done their homework.

According to the KFC Web site, a fried Double Down has 540 calories, 290 of them from fat (that's 32 grams of total fat, 10 of them saturated and .5 trans fats). It also delivers 1,380 milligrams of sodium. (A grilled version has 80 fewer calories and 9 fewer grams of total fat -- but 50 more milligrams of sodium.)

As I say, this is clearly not health food. But it is also clearly not the worst thing out there. Tool around the site of any major fast-food chain and find the nutrition data. (It's a fun exercise, Double Down research aside.) While increasingly you can find better-for-you options on most menus, there's still plenty of high-calorie, fat-laden and sodium-spiked food to be had. Even at Subway, which has built a reputation as the land of healthful sandwiches, a 6-inch chicken and bacon ranch sandwich has 570 calories, 250 of them from fat (28 grams total) ad 1190 mg of sodium.

And as one "writer_dad" tweeted yesterday, "Hmm. Taco Bell's Chicken Ranch Taco "Salad" packs more calories (910) than KFC's Double Down (bacon & cheese between 2 chicken filets) (540)."

Occasionally I reveal myself for the old fogey that I am. When I was a kid growing up in Rockville, it was a BIG DEAL to get in the Chevy Impala and drive out to the McDonald's on Rockville Pike. We'd sit on a cement wall that separated the parking lot from the farm next door and watch cows grazing as we ate our hamburgers (without recognizing the irony). The hamburgers were small and delicious; the serving of fries equally so. It was dirt cheap; I have a memory of our four-person family's eating for five dollars -- and that included shakes all 'round.

The thing is, I remember that so clearly because McDonald's was a treat, not an every day staple. If only fast food could reclaim that role in our lives.

Wanna tweet about what we eat? Look for me and the other Local Living writers at @wposthome/local-living. And keep track of my "Me Minus 10" effort to lose 10 pounds before I turn 50 at twitter.com/jhuget.

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  |  April 9, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Family Health , Is That Right? , Nutrition and Fitness , Obesity  
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Comments

"The thing is, I remember that so clearly because McDonald's was a treat, not an every day staple. If only fast food could reclaim that role in our lives."

Thank you. This says it all.

Posted by: interestingidea1234 | April 9, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

When I was a kid, it was a huge deal when my mother took me to Gino's to get the Sirloiner. In college, I OD'd on fast food, and now the thrill is gone...

Posted by: nuzuw | April 9, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

My reaction to the new offering by KFC is "Who buys that crap?" I get the appeal of fast food, but replacing buns with fried chicken? REALLY? I have to assume they have market research indicating that there is a market, but wow.

Posted by: volleymom | April 9, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I also grew up in Rockville and went to the same McDonalds as a treat. The original cost was 47 cents for a 3 course meal (burger, fries, coke). Don't remember the cows next door though.

Posted by: geoff5 | April 9, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

"The thing is, I remember that so clearly because McDonald's was a treat, not an every day staple. If only fast food could reclaim that role in our lives."

Also agree wholeheartedly, interestingidea1234. When I was a child, I was happy to eat out, have take out or "fast food" once a month when it was "cook's night out"; same with soda and sugary drinks. We kids looked forward to it every month; it was special.

Nowadays people eat and drink this junk morning, noon and night. It's no wonder we have an obesity epidemic in this country.

Posted by: ccs53 | April 9, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

"The thing is, I remember that so clearly because McDonald's was a treat, not an every day staple. If only fast food could reclaim that role in our lives."

Also agree wholeheartedly, interestingidea1234. When I was a child, I was happy to eat out or get take out or "fast food" once a month when it was "cook's night out"; same with soda and sugary drinks. We kids looked forward to it every month; it was special.

Nowadays people eat and drink this junk morning, noon and night. It's no wonder we have an obesity epidemic in this country.

Posted by: ccs53 | April 9, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

KFC (and its ilk) are guilty of more than hurting those who eat this crud. I am NOT a vegetarian, but I BOYCOTT meat from restaurants (especially fast food restaurants) who factory farm meat for their restaurants. KFC chickens are TORTURED before being used for this horrible excuse for a meal. I eat meat, moderately, but only buy it from Whole Foods or from local purveyors at farmers' markets. It's more expensive, so I eat less. I have lost weight, my cholesterol has plummeted, and I feel so much better having fruits and veggies as a mainstay of my diet and only eating chicken a few times a month, and red meat a few times year. The way farm animals are treated by the big agriculture is a national shame. Take pity on your heart, your waistline, AND the animals who suffer so you can buy a Big Mac for a dollar.

Posted by: CAC2 | April 9, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

It's really not about how many calories, grams of fat, saturated fat, etc. It's about portions. Just because something contains a lot of what is not recommended doesn't mean you should never eat any. Our metabolism requires protein, carbohydrates and fats. Eliminating any one of those in the name of health is stupid.

Unfortunately, most Americans can not discriminate or understand the slightest difference in logic. Everything must be presented in ink black or brilliant white or they're confused. Everything has been 'dumbed-down' until it's a waste of time to discuss the subject.

Posted by: RichardinPasadena | April 9, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

"Occasionally I reveal myself for the old fogey that I am. When I was a kid growing up in Rockville, it was a BIG DEAL to get in the Chevy Impala and drive out to the McDonald's on Rockville Pike. We'd sit on a cement wall that separated the parking lot from the farm next door and watch cows grazing as we ate our hamburgers (without recognizing the irony)."

Since when was there a farm next to the McD on the Pike?

Must have been sometime between 1956 (when the Impala was introduced) and 1958, when we moved to Rockville.

And it must have been a pretty small farm, to fit between the Pike and the B&O tracks.

Posted by: tkavanag | April 9, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

If this type of food offends/disgusts/ you, just don't buy it. I'm all for free enterprise, but when it comes to controlling what other people eat/see/do/drive/wear/read/buy, it's stepping over the line. Just don't go to KFC, or McD's or any other place you don't like. Big deal. It used to be a free country before the socialists took over, now they want to control everything we do.

Posted by: Baltimore11 | April 9, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Well, Baltimore11, just who is suggesting the banning of this sandwich or any such thing?

Posted by: LittleRed1 | April 10, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I have been eating low carb and have lost 35 lbs. My blood pressure and colesterol lowered. Americans need to be aware that sugar and carbs make you fat, not the actual fat you eat. Carbs are converted into sugar when they are not burned. Also calories are not as big as a deal as everyone thinks. Look at that LOW FAT- LOW CALORIE yogurt. It has almost 30 grams of sugar. Can anyone say diabetes!!!! My mom was diagnosed with Diabetes and she has kept it undercontrol by eating no bread and carbs. She lost 25 pounds and her cholesterol and blood pressure went down. America is very misinformed. BRING ON THE DOUBLE DOWN!!!!!

Posted by: awelch2 | April 12, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I LOVE THIS SANDWICH! I just got the coupon for a free sandwich from here: http://tinyurl.com/freedoubledown and went to my local KFC and grabbed one. They are surprisingly delicious, albeit unhealthy.

Posted by: aevolt | April 12, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Ditto on the 'back in my day' sentiment, but I'm only 32 and grew up in the country. We used to call it 'driving into town.'

It's very easy to overeat fast food, but the wife and I have found that a Mickey D's cheeseburger and small fries can be an entirely satisfying meal and scratch that fast food itch. As with anything, moderation is key.

Posted by: pswift00 | April 13, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

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