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April 12, 2010

Docs down on Double Down

KFC Double Down SandwichIs it a sandwich or a controlled substance?

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine says the new KFC Double Down, the bunless fried-on-fried wonder that started shortening American lifespans today, should be treated like the latter. 

The committee has asked KFC to market the Double Down as if it were tobacco or alcohol, which means not advertising it within 500 yards of a school or otherwise promoting it to kids.

"Just as many young people don't understand the risks of tobacco, they often do not realize that high-fat, meat-heavy meals greatly increase the risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and some types of cancer," Susan Levin, the committee's director of nutrition education, wrote in a letter to David C. Novak, chairman of Yum! Brands, Inc.,  KFC's parent company.

The Double Down is a bacon-and-cheese sandwich that uses two fried chicken fillets in place of bread. It has 540 calories, 32 grams of fat and 1,380 milligrams of sodium.

"Kids," Levin writes, "shouldn't be exposed to such recklessness."


KFC photo

Posted by Laura Vozzella at 4:18 PM | | Comments (39)


Doctors try to take the fun out of everything. Don't let them. Stand your ground, America!

The bun is the evil part of burger/sandwich. What is wrong with the Double Down? Your kids get happy meals with fries and a coke. Yet you wackos go crazy over a sandwich that actually makes sense. Wake up. And if you're fat, eat two of these a day with side of green beans, have eggs and bacon for breakfast, take a solid multi-vitamin, and drink lots of water. You'll lose a pound or two per week. and be healthier than those smelly tree hugger / whole foods nutcases.

AGREE! This has fewer calories and slightly less fat than a Big Mac. Kids, this is what Cookie Monster has taken to calling "sometimes food". It's not for every day. It's for sometimes.

We all shouldn't be exposed to such reckless journalism. Eat your carrots and shut up!

I totally agree with this article, kids don't know any better, but adults do! Do you want your kids to die slowly from diabetes any hypertension like most adults in this country?!

You people are just as bad as KFC. There are addictive qualities in the food they are serving. Does it make sense they shouldn't be able to addict people with poison? Especially children? If you don't care about yourself...okay, but at least think about your 200 lb 10 year old kids that will be dead of heart disease by 30. You sound like a bunch of obese people drooling over this thing, a lack of self control is GROSS and acceptance of this poison is horrible. Look around should all be ashamed of yourself for promoting obesity.

I can just imagine it now. All the kids that are going to a school near a KFC will be going crazy over the sandwich they aren't supposed to know about, thus assuring they do eat a sandwich they wouldn't have eaten in the first place.

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

Well, read the fine print - it's not so much the 580 calories, it's that a substantial chunk of those calories are fat. Add to that, the monstrous amount of sodium -- over half of a day's USDA recommended value.

One sandwich is not the root of a public health epidemic - but it is a sign of the ongoing problem this country has with distinguishing This is Why You're Fat food from a healthy diet.

One artery-clogging sandwich isn't a death sentence. It's basing an everyday diet on that sandwich, and its many brethren.

It's more that the American diet doesn't do variety, balance, and moderation particularly well.

OK this thing with fries and a soda is what, 1000 calories or so?

How about if you go to Charleston and get:

Cindy Wolf’s Menu of the Moment:

Rich Lobster Soup with Curry

Salad of White Asparagus, Blood Orange & Quail’s Egg, Red Wine Vinaigrette

Fresh Louisiana Crawfish, Tasso Ham, Fried Green Tomato

Grilled Virginia Quail, Cornbread & Tasso Stuffing, Whiskey Sauce

Stilton – creamy, rich, mildly spicy (Nottinghamshire, UK)

Guanaja Chocolate Ganache, Salted Caramel, Sable & Malted Chocolate Ice Cream

What is the calorie count for this feast? True the food will be delicious, and the atmosphere superb, but you're still going to pack on a few calories, including a good bit of fat, and sodium. Of course you may only do this once or twice a year (if you're lucky), and you should only eat one of these KFC monsters on a rare occasion.

The truth is neither one of these meals is going to kill you, the secret is all things in moderation.

Maybe I should have used the Prime Rib for an example. Imagine a big hunk of delicious beef, baked potato with loads of sour cream, creamed spinach, and cheese cake for a sweet ending.

The truth is neither one of these meals is going to kill you, the secret is all things in moderation.

You hit the nail on the head, natch.

But the key difference being that fast-food is unfortunately substantially more integrated into American dining habits than Charleston.

You and me, and a sizeable chunk of this readership are probably a self-selecting cross-section of diners who probably aren't representative of dietary trends among the general public.

But there are competing trends throughout dining culture, whose effects aren't entirely clear.

While locavore. sustainable, and organic foods gain traction - so does the gross inflation of portion sizes across the country. How do we account for these disparate tropes?

According to most reliable statistics, Americans are getting fatter and fatter, in spite of the renewed attention to diet as a barometer of health.

Cindy's superrich menu at Charleston might be one small component of the problem; certainly smaller than KFC.

In the end, it comes down to the fact that fewer people are able to make the distinction of "sometimes food" than we care to admit.

LOL. its never been the calories. Just like many people here I grew up with food cooked in lard, large portions and had to clean the plate. But we didnt drive everywhere and didnt have video games. If kids today got the exercise that we did, they wouldnt be fat. At 540 calories this thing is half what a fast food burger is, and a third what restaurant chicken is. its probably a quarter of home cooking calories since most people cant manage portion size.
Healthy food is just as bad if the calories are high and there is no exercise.Dont fall for the fast food haters, surveys show kids getting fatter at the same time exercise in schools was cut back.

Yes let everyone feast on this gooey abomination. The responsible people in this country are going to be paying for everyone's health care soon enough anyway might as well run up their tab! By the way, it isn't about the calories... check out the sodium content of the sandwich while including fries. Hey the naive consumer can at least get a diet soda!

The right foods are the best solution for you to manage blood sugar use this free meal planner

And you can reduce the damage by going for the grilled version rather then the fried.

I think Captcha is trying to recommend otherwise, though: "crespi is"

I'm Old school. Cookie Monster should JUST eat cookies.
..its what he does.
He's NOT the Carrot Monster.

As for this Double Down..


This so-called "committee" of physicians is a PETA offshoot. An animal rights group. All they care about is demonizing chicken, regardless of the circumstances. see

The article I wrote when they were test marketing this sandwich has the approximate calorie count. Here is the link for those that are interested. I find it oxymoronic that KFC came out with the healthy grilled chicken and then puts out the double down. Here is the post:

I can't get my mind nor my mouth wrapped around this. Where is Jamie Oliver and his Food Revolution when you need him.

It has less calories and fat than a Subway 6-Inch Tuna Sandwich with Cheese and is pretty close to a Six Inch Meatball sub with cheese! Compared to a foot long? Forget about about it! It has less calories and fat than a number of Panera Sandwiches. Where are the attention starved groups when it comes to promoting, oh I mean blaming, Subway and Panera and countless other chains? The reaction the this product is insane because it looks and sounds bad, not because it is, in comparison with everything else out there.

Notice how I don't have the physique of an Adonis these days...?

Ah, railing against the evil food. Where's the outrage for the McD's Mc Slab O' Angus burger?
It's really this simple: if you eat that sort of thing often, you're going to be fat. Maybe it won't show on the outside, but the arteries don't lie.
One other little thing: you can eat a high sodium diet IF you drink enough water to compensate. However, most people are chronically dehydrated, so there we are.
The Golden Rule of Food is "if you think you shouldn't be eating it, you're right."

Heading to KFC after work. I just want to try it!!!!!!!!! I'll probably never have one again (and may not even finish it), but I can't say no to the novelty.

Please report back tomorrow with a guest Double Down review. LV

Tell your fat kids to go outside instead of sitting on their rumps eating bags of lite! potato chips and DIET! soda by the 2 liter. Leave my delicious chicken sammy alone before i go peddle these things like crack at the local Jr.High. Here tubby tubby tubby!

As a person who works out 5-6 times a week and counts his calorie / macronutrient intake daily this is one of the greatest and "healthiest" things to come out of fast food industry ever.

After lifting heavy you need the protein.
50-60 grams check depending if its original or grilled.
Some saturated fat? No problem, there has not been a study yet that positively linked saturated fat intake with health problems, only correlations so far.

High sodium? hahaha you must be one of those pathetic lazy people who never works out. After doing some heavy squats 5x5 or sprints I crave sodium. I load up on salt on my post work out meals.

For a person who works out regularly this is almost perfect.

bench - 245 x 4
squat - 305 1Rm
deadlift - 355 1Rm

1mile time - i do 7min with my backpack loaded easy.

Fatty in mid weight loss here. Lost 83lb over last 7 months doing a whole clean food 1400kcal diet. etc etc.

Ordered both the crispy and grilled version of this sammich. Grilled was delicious. Tender, juicy, flavorful and wasn't too salty. However, the crispy version I did not like nearly as much. The crap they put in the breading is insanely overpowering, couldn't taste anything but the breading. It was way too salty too, left me begging for water.

Also; I peaked @ 302lbs and my mother was never one for fast food. When I was a child my mother refused to feed me things such as McDonalds, KFC and Wendy's. The only junk food I ever ate in our house was the bi monthly large pizzas while we huddled around the tv and played board games or the tapioca snack packs that i got to eat once every other day or so. The true place where I got my hands on this filth was (sadly) public school. for 2$ a day you got the generic school lunch, grilled cheese w/ chocolate milk, dry overcooked burrito or mac and cheese. In another line for 2.50$ a day you got "offbrand" personal pizzas and soda. What was/is an 11 year old going to get? This middle school lunch was just the worst part of my public school diet, middle school breakfasts were similar to those shown in Jamie Olivers show. Bright pink milk, donuts, and sugar cereals. What the fuck!?

It can't truly be the childrens fault nor the parents fault when the public school systems can manage to get such products and manufacture them cheaply and make fortunes off of selling them to children.

Lot of runon/grammar etc tired.

fuck yer. future fitizen. go son of zeus

Link spam at 12:50 AM!
Link spam at 3:26 AM!
(More shills for Chinese purveyors of merchandise of dubious provenance.)

Guess what? This sandwich kills touchscreen devices!

What do you want to be this warning creates more of a backlash than all the health advisories?

Seriously, are the doctors who were discussing this even aware of what is being served in fast food restaurants?!? They want to protect us from this sandwich, but a whopper with cheese is fine?!?! A Burger King Tendercrisp chicken sandwich?!? These are horrible choices that shouldn't be advertised to kids either! What do they work for the bread cartel??? I find all of the negative comments about this sandwich quite funny as nobody is looking into how it stacks up against the other fast food choices. Mind you, I certainly don't recommend that you eat it, 540 calories are all too many for a sandwich, but compared to your other fast food choices... not too bad. There is more about this comparison here:

Dave Thomas, who was one of the original three partners, would never have approved this item, especially since with Wendy’s he was always trying to make healthy products tempered by what people would enjoy eating. He found, unfortunately, fat was a great taste satisfier.

You gotta admit 1,380 milligrams of sodium is shockingly high and maybe indefensible even for a limited time.

It really isn't anyone's business to tell a concern what they can sell, but in the age of dealing with the mouthy political correct and the fact that you don't want doctors warning people away from your products, a little informed consideration of what you offer for sale would preempt reputation tarnish press.

That said I'll probably try one out of curiosity.

...and today's recaptcha code is
President Junkiest

It's unfortunate that the comment section got side-tracked by the nature of the article and didn't notice that the author of this article majorly dropped the ball here. First of all, PCRM, is not a "committee". Calling it that makes it sound like a sub-section of government or something. PCRM is actually a lobbyist group, whose focus is ostensibly on unhealthy food habits (but more subtlly, those "unhealth habits" tend to be defined as "anything that's not vegan").

Secondly, the headline assumes that PCRM is composed of entirely doctors. It's not. As a lobbyist group, it's membership is almost entirely composed of lawyers, fundraisers, media experts, etc, etc. There are very, very, few physicians.

I realize this is only a "fluff" story, but I would hope that one would at least do a little bit of research on who their source is.

It's unfortunate that the comment section got side-tracked by the nature of the article and didn't notice that the author of this article majorly dropped the ball here. First of all, PCRM, is not a "committee". Calling it that makes it sound like a sub-section of government or something. PCRM is actually a lobbyist group, whose focus is ostensibly on unhealthy food habits (but more subtlly, those "unhealth habits" tend to be defined as "anything that's not vegan").

Secondly, the headline assumes that PCRM is composed of entirely doctors. It's not. As a lobbyist group, it's membership is almost entirely composed of lawyers, fundraisers, media experts, etc, etc. There are very, very, few physicians.

I realize this is only a "fluff" story, but I would hope that one would at least do a little bit of research on who their source is.

Alexander D. Mitchell IV,

I’ve Read “KFC Double Down Sandwich: Destroyer of Touchscreens”
one word description


Anyone who doesn’t have the commonsense not to multi-task while eating any finger food like Pizza, Corn Chips, Fried Chicken, Pastries as well as this item deserves whatever happens whether it is using an iPad, Laptop, reading magazines or real books, changing CDs, etc.

Blaming the edible is moronic if you give it a nano-second of thought.
The writer must be REALLY hard up if this the best story he can come.

Regarding PCRM,
My father used to get their newsletter. He used to contribute to groups like the ASCPA. I don't know if he ever directly contributed to them.

We stopped reading it because we found it was getting progressly more alarmist and disturbing. I am so glad they stopped coming, We got to the point we just threw them directly from the mail into recycling or garbage, which ever was closer, just to get rid of it as a quickly as possible.

this Recaptcha code is
convinced opaque

Susan Levin - another Liberal trying to tell companies how to run their business because people just don't know what's good for them and need a totalitarn nanny to protect them from life

1,380 milligrams of sodium

Shocking! Not very. One cup of Campbell's chicken noodle soup has 1780 mg of sodium. Where are the soup cops?

This sandwich will fit nicely into my low-carb diet.

Link Spam @ 4:03

The double down looks like something some obese man decided that he wanted to invent for his lunch... I can't imagine stuffing my face with something that greasy... Has it killed anyone yet?

Eat KFC Double Down in moderation, and choose other foods to provide the balance and variety that are vital to good health.

More like the KFC Doubled Over, amirightguys?

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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