WASHINGTON—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.
In a letter to David C. Novak, chairman of Yum! Brands, Inc., the company that owns KFC, Susan Levin, M.S., R.D., the director of nutrition education for PCRM, calls the sandwich a “troubling symbol of corporate irresponsibility” at a time when America is grappling with record childhood obesity numbers.
She says the fast-food chain should use as a guide FDA restrictions against advertising tobacco and voluntarily refrain from advertising the product within 500 yards of a school, at events attended by children, on transit vehicles, and outdoors, among other venues.
PCRM also wants KFC to put a warning label on the sandwich that would read: “WARNING – Eating meat can contribute to obesity in children, and can increase their risk for heart disease, diabetes and cancer.”
The “Original Recipe” version of the Double Down has 540 calories, 32 grams of fat, and 1,380 milligrams of sodium. A Double Down Combo Meal has 1,000 calories, 45 grams of fat, and 2,120 milligrams of sodium.
“The Double Down is clearly one of those products with a death wish appeal,” Levin says. “The Double Down combo meal has more than half the maximum amount of fat and calories that most adults should consume in an entire day—and more sodium than the American Heart Association recommends consuming in an entire day. Kids shouldn’t be exposed to such recklessness.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three children born in the United States will develop diabetes at some point in his or her life.
Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.