Thursday, April 15, 2010

10 common fast food sandwiches way worse than KFC's Double Down.

I can't get over all the hoopla surrounding the Double Down.

It's definitely a Frankenfood, but more from the yuck factor perspective than the nutritional perspective - certainly it was the yuck that hooked me.

Personally I think KFC's Double Down is more of a marketing home run than something KFC actually expects to sell a lot of. I wouldn't be surprised at all if in a few years it's gone from the menu due to lack of sales and I also wouldn't be surprised if its appearance doesn't spur an increase in this quarter's KFC profits simply by getting curious feet marching through its doors.

Nutritionally it sure is salty at 1,380mg of sodium, but calorically it's a bit of a fast food yawn at 540 calories.

That said, think of the incredible amount of coverage it's received. According to Google there's been over 3,000 news stories on KFC's Double Down in the past month. The blogosphere has 460,000 hits (including mine). But nutritionally is it really worth all the attention? When it comes down to it, nutritionally it's pretty much a Big Mac which also clocks in at 540 calories and a smidge less sodium at 1,020mg.

Interestingly in the coverage reporters and bloggers seem aghast that KFC's selling the Double Down. Really, is it KFC's job to look after our health? If you want to fault someone for KFC selling the Double Down (or for fast food in general) I'd point the finger at us. Why us? KFC and everyone else is just selling what the people want and buy. If we want healthier fare then we need to make it clear that we won't buy the garbage anymore. Industry, unlike government, reacts quickly to consumer demand. If we demanded health, we'd get it. The problem is, we don't demand it.

Want some perspective? Here are ten common fast food items, all of which top the Double Down in nutritional deviance and some of which put the Double Down to shame when it comes to unhealthy eating. This was by no means a difficult search either, took literally 10 minutes, and had I bothered to explore items other than sandwiches I'd have found offerings that would have put these numbers to shame:

10. Dunkin' Donuts Tuna (Albacore) Sandwich
660 calories, 1,280mg sodium

9. Au Bon Pain Southwest Tuna Wrap
760 calories, 1,570mg sodium

8. A&W Double Mozza Burger
780 calories, 1,230mg sodium

7. Arby's Roast Turkey Ranch and Bacon Sandwich
830 calories, 2,270mg sodium

6. Burger King Steakhouse XT with Cheese Burger
1,000 calories, 2,090mg sodium

5. Dairy Queen 1/2lb Flamethrower Burger
1,010 calories, 1,540mg sodium

4. Boston Pizza Boston Cheesesteak Sandwich
1,140 calories, 3,900mg sodium

3. Ruby Tuesday's Avocado Turkey Burger
1,234 calories, 2,961mg sodium

2. Applebees Quesadilla Burger
1,420 calories, 3,740mg sodium

1. Quizno's Prime Rib Cheesesteak Sub (that's it in the photo above)
1,770 calories, 2,895mg sodium