KFC’s Double Down is a Dream, Not a WMD

Anytime a fast food restaurant serves an item named after a gambling term, you know it’s going to take some flak. Such is the case with the Double Down, KFC’s audacious bread-free version of the chicken sandwich .

That’s right — there’s no bread to be found with the Double Down. Just two boneless chicken breasts (fried or grilled), two slices of Monterey jack and pepper jack cheese and two strips of bacon. The chicken breasts, themselves, act as the bun, and that’s why this sandwich is so buzzworthy.

While KFC is pushing all-in on this innovative combination, many are up in arms about the Double Down. Yesterday, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) went so far as to release the following statement about the sandwich:

Dietitians with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine are asking KFC not to advertise to children its newest product, the Double Down sandwich, and to post a warning on the high-fat sandwich about its potential ill effects on children’s health.

The Original Recipe Double Down tops out at 32 grams of fat, 540 calories and 1,380 milligrams of sodium. The grilled version is just 23 grams of fat, 460 calories and 1,430 milligrams of sodium. Compare that to a McDonald’s Happy Meal featuring a cheeseburger, small order of French fries and 12 ounces of Sprite, which amounts to 24 grams of fat, 640 calories and 1,040 milligrams of sodium.

OK, so maybe you don’t want to raise your kids on Double Downs.

Regardless of how disastrously unhealthy the Double Down is, I think it’s the shock of seeing a sandwich without bread that’s really getting people. Something about it seems so barbaric. Something about it makes me feel like a neanderthal for wanting one, like I should grab my club and drag my knuckles all the way to KFC, point to the picture on the menu and say, “Me. Want. That.”

What’s so dignified about a bun, anyway? McDonald’s Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese checks in at 42 grams of fat, 740 calories and 1,380 milligrams of sodium, but it’s got a traditional bun, so no one says boo. The Colonel gets reckless, sees thinks bread has become arbitrary, invents something — God forbid — new to fast food, and suddenly, rumors start to swirl KFC has aligned itself with Al-Qaeda.

I’ve already taken time to write about childhood obesity and what efforts should be taken to help make kids in this country more healthy. I won’t argue against the claim fast food restaurants have an obligation to offer health options on their menu. I just feel like if the Double Down had a bun, it would be just another stupid KFC sandwich we pass on in favor off the all-you-can-eat buffet.

There’s a lot of painfully clever hyperbole built around how eating just one Double Down can harm your health. Please. We’re Americans. We’ve been making poor health decisions on some scale our whole lives. The Double Down is a novelty snack, not unlike cotton candy, Pop Rocks or spaghetti on a stick. Of course you’re not supposed to eat it every meal.

Anyone who’s stupid enough to think otherwise probably gave up fast food for fear of future persecution by an Obama death panel.