And the Award for Worst New Food Product of the Year Goes to…

By , SparkPeople Blogger
It’s conventional to wait until the end of the year to decide which new food product deserves the award for worst of the year. But once in a while, a product comes along that's such an obvious choice there’s no need to hold off giving the award until all the entries are in.

Next week, KFC is introducing just such a product: their new Double Down sandwich.

It’s not entirely clear how this product actually qualifies as a “sandwich,” since there’s no bread involved. It’s two pieces of bacon and two pieces of cheese served between two pieces of fried chicken. There’s nothing even remotely resembling a vegetable—not even ketchup.

Given all the public concern lately about eating balanced meals and reducing the health risks associated with a high-fat, low fiber diet, you have to wonder: What was KFC thinking? And the answer to that question might just be more disturbing than the Double Down itself.

According to this article, KFC has designed this product (and the advertising campaign that goes with it) to appeal to one of our worst human foibles: our tendency to sabotage our own best interests by doing something that’s clearly not good for us, just out of spite. We’re all familiar with this situation. You know what you should eat for good health and weight management (and if you don’t, there’s no shortage of people who will be happy to tell you). But sometimes you just get tired of all the “shoulds” and decide to eat something guaranteed to make the food police very unhappy with you.

There’s nothing abnormal about this—most of us like to thumb our noses at authority and convention at least once in a while, and no one really likes being told they shouldn’t eat certain things they want, especially when those things are particularly tasty and you see them everywhere. This is one of the main reasons why many diet and nutrition experts recommend against having extremely strict diet rules and “forbidden food” lists, and support an “everything in moderation” approach.

But it’s one thing to say there’s room on the menu for items that won’t make it onto anyone’s list of healthy foods. It’s something else altogether, I think, to deliberately design and market a nutritional nightmare just because it’s likely to evoke this nose-thumbing, anti-conventional wisdom attitude and appeal to people on that basis.

What do you think? Has KFC gone too far with this new menu item, or is this just business as usual, and nothing to be upset about?

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I knew this---LOL Report
In this day and age, it baffles me that food products like this even make it to the menu! Report
I have not had KFC in years- I watched a tv show that drew blood b4 3 piece kfc meal consumed and then drew blood 4 hours after, it was a cloudly orange colour after! However I think Dennys will take the prize this year and again it should be before the year is out with their menu of everything bacon which includes.... wait for it...... a bacon sundae!!!! now that has to be the definition of gross! Report
KFC in NZ has never attempted to sell themselves as a healthy alternative when it comes to fast food, so when I go in there I have no doubt that nothing on the menu is going to be healthy for anyone. And that's why I go, every now and again a wicked wing is delicious! This double down sounds fantastic.. too bits of chicken right... why is everyone so shocked, i bet theyve eaten to kfc fillets in their lifetime.. there's not much difference really Report
I haven't had the double down thing at KFC. In fact it's been years since I had anyth9ing from there. To me, it looks like a heart attack waiting to happen & you might as well set up an intravenous of pure fat. YUCK! Report
Yeah well even IF I wanted to order one in Canada- they no longer sell it here (I think it was only available for about a month....) Report
It sounds absolutely disgusting. I can almost taste the nasty grease just reading about it.
A friend of mine eats them because of exactly that reason - everyone says he shouldn't because they're terrible for you and he wants to tell "the haters" to back off. I guess if it works for KFC, they're going to keep doing it - lots of products are marketed to our worst human traits, including diet products, so a lot of people are just choosing their evil. Report
This article actually made me laugh. I didn't even know KFC designed such a thing and it honestly doesn't surprise me. For the health conscious people going into KFC, I don't think this sandwich would even phase them. Ok, they might be appauled or shocked but not tempted. It is catering to those who already prefer to eat junk food and they will find ways to eat it, whether a chain restaurant provides it or not. I honestly don't care what any chain serves as long as they have something I can order. Is it promoting bad health? Maybe but like I said, if someone wants to eat unhealthy, they are going to do it one way or another! Report
It actually sounds disgusting and unappetizing. Report
It's a matter of choice . If you don't want it , don't buy it. There's no way I'd even want to try it anyway. My husband has, as it was part of his lunch oneday at work ; what the boss supplied. In my husbands opinion, after trying it; he said while it tasted ok, it's the grease that hits you afterward. Ok, well, he said he wouldn't have another one. I've seen larger food creations on Man vs. Report
Yuck! I agree this is horrible. Just looking at the commercial clogs my arteries! Grease, fat, salt. A heart attack or stroke in a sandwich! Report
I personally think the Double Down is absolutely repulsive and I would never even dream of ordering one (I haven't eaten KFC in years anyway and don't plan on starting.) As far as being upset at its inception, however, I can't say that I am. People have the right to eat what they want and KFC is not responsible for our diet choices. Report
What's even sadder about this is there is an internet article posted by the media saying that a fried egg has more cholesterol than a double down. How stupid do they think we are?
Well, if it's any indication based on how many sites picked up this article and posted it as true then, it's the media we need to worry about!

Whew, and we wonder why we have such a problem with eating?! Report
When I first saw this ad on TV I almost fell out of my chair! My thought was a heart attack just waiting to happen. But, then it is KFC, they aren't at the top of the fast food list for healthy choices. Although they tried with their roasted chicken, apparently that didn't draw the new fans they were hoping for. So, create something die hard (which if they choose this new sandwich might actually happen), KFC lovers will really love. I don't think any fast-food establishment has any responsibility to provide healthy eating. We as individuals have to be responsible for what we choose to eat. Report
I don't have a problem with KFC personally, since the nauseating odor repels me even entering the door! Yet I marvel at just how irresponsible, mercenary, and even cruel (in an ultimate sense) these fast food marketing people can be. We, the public, really shouldn't let them get away with it. Vote with your feet and your pocketbook, People! Report
I don't get it. It is not the worst choice on the menu. Jeez, the pot pie has more calories, fat and sodium and worse yet, there are folks out there that think it (the pot pie) is a good choice because there are veggies in it and its not fried. If I'm not mistaken, some fast food grilled chicken sandwiches are packing in more calories than this quirky invention. KFC is playing to our nature to make a big buzz about stupid things and articles like this are exactly what they are banking on. As others mentioned that bowl thing had/has a worse nutritional profile. Report
I just tried it finally this past week. While it wasn't the worst food I have eaten it was definitely disappointing all the way around. I didn't feel filled, it was very greasy and it won't be ordered again. It scores as a waste of money to me and KFC should be looking at something tastier and more healthy as a replacement. Report
I just tried it. It was disgusting. I felt heartburn coming on as I was finishing it.

That being said, There's worse out there. I'm not saying it's healthy. If it were to make the top 10 list of worst foods (or even top 5), I would tip my hat to the judgment.

But no. It's two pieces of fried chicken with 2 pieces of "cheese", bacon and some ambiguous sauce that gives it some kick.

I will probably not eat one again anytime soon. Report
I'm not terribly interested in going out of my way to go grap one of these. but, how much easier is it to have ice cream stuck in your face all Summer long? EVERYwhere you go, MMmm...strawberry fat and sugar, chocolate fat and sugar, 'your-favorite-flavor' fat and sugar! Just as bad because it's EVERYwhere, and so easy! So, when we tell ourselves, "there are no 'good' or 'bad' foods"...we are lying? Yep, they made something abundantly awful, but ice cream is so pretty! Guess we don't HAVE to eat it..... Report
Okay:Despite dissing the new intro (comment 88) I confess -- I ate the KFC Double Down and I liked it. And I might even eat it again. Now, I have to admit to you that I have issues with fast food; but I also LOVE meat and frequently get meat cravings (never anything delicate like chocolate or green tea.) Anway, it's has fewer calories than most big burgers, less bread (allergic) and lower sodium than Campbell's soup. I ordererd green beans as a side and a bottle of water. And I was full and happy ALLLLL day. I won't do it every day or even every week for sure cause I don't like the carbon footprint of fast food, nor the animal treatment/confinement issues. But after jumping on the hater bandwagon -- I'm changing my mind and I'm fessin' up. I've eaten worse food described as a "healthy salad." LOLOL Report
It's no surprise really considering they were the ones that had the bowl full of crap thing a couple of years back. At first I wasn't even sure that this was a real commercial when I saw it a few weeks ago. Seemed like a skit show parody to me.

This story is a reminder that our fast food industry is heading in the opposite way of where our society should be going. Every time I pass a BK the Whoppers have gotten bigger (I believe there is actually a triple Whopper now). Being someone that is obese and an object of these types of convenient foods, I'm often offended. You wanna make money from me, show me something good for you, convenient, and doesn't require a defibrilator to digest Report
That "sandwich" looks just awful!!! But, until society makes it clear that we do not want food like this the fats food industry will continue to thrive! Report
KFC and Hardee's seem to be leading the way on these types of things. Oh, yeah - I forgot about the "Baconator" from Wendy's. Maybe having these things along with a fat-free yogurt will even things out. Report
Every time I see these commercials I want to puke. Regardless of the unhealthy part, they just look nasty! I've seen some other comments on here from people expressing that restaurants aren't responsible for the fact that people are eating this stuff, that people still have a choice and that the restaurants should be able to serve whatever they want.

While that might be somewhat true, we have to remember that there is a bigger issue at hand here. MOST of the people who eat at fast food restaurants are not educated in proper nutrition. They may not have the $$ to eat fresh and healthy. Fast food is cheap and if you grew up eating that way, then you are likely to continue.

It's the fast food chains and others that have a responsibility to help make some of these major changes in our communities towards healthier eating. They have the power to make changes that will trickle down to the consumers. That power is much stronger than the consumers ability to have the knowledge to affect change.

Yes, improving one's health is something that each person has to want. But, it's very difficult to hear that little voice inside of you telling you to eat some veggies when you have commercial campaigns all around you pushing foods like this new KFC "sandwich". Report
Ick. And those poor chickens - I won't go there, but you can imagine the miserable existences they had to endure to provide cheap "food" for this fast-food chain. Vote with your pocketbooks and SAY NO!!! Report
Eeeeyuuuu .... gross! It doesn't even look good. And after looking up the "nutrition" - forget it. Report
What a waste of a perfectly good chicken! Just the thought of eating that thing makes my stomach hurt!! Boo KFC. I hope you lose money on this one! Report
Are you serious to think this is ok for the Atkins diet? For any diet? Or even a diabetic diet? A sandwich that has more than 50% of the calories from fat sounds like a terrible choice for anyone. Just like stated before - people have a choice to make - just don't do it!! Don't try to justify this crappy food as a healthy choice. I want to live long and healthy - the fast food industry doesn't care how you live - so stay away! Report
Haven't eaten at KFC for decades but could this be any worse than that bowl dish? Fried chicken, topped with mashed potatoes and gravy and then to add some more carbs, corn! Probably served with a biscuit. Report
I can't see how this is worse than, oh, chicken cordon bleu, right down to the breaded and fried. I mean, take a piece of chicken, slice it in half (but not all the way through) and stuff it with some ham and cheese. And then bread it and fry it. But I guess if it has a French name, it's a culinary masterpiece, and if it comes from KFC, it's a nutritional disaster.

Truth is, in a pinch, I'd eat this (the grilled version) over a lot of other fast food options. At least with this, all the food is identifiable. Chicken, cheese, bacon. I have to believe there was some ultra-processed, sugar-infused, get-your-kids-addicted treat that is far worse than this that came out this year. Report
Gross. Just gross.

I know that it is not up to the restaurant industry to save America from its bad eating habits, but COME ON!! I would love to see the Fast Food Industry own up to its shameless greed for profits at the expense of the health of our nation and CHANGE. There's no need for triple cheeseburgers and giant french fries. I went to Arby's the other day and ordered a "medium" tea. It was 32 ounces!!!! Since when is that a medium????!!

It's disgusting and doesn't help our problems. Way to go, KFC. I guess if you can't be part of the solution, you can just be another part of the problem. Report
yuck!!! KFC gives me stomach cramps - i havent eaten any of their stuff in at least 20 years, and that was when they had rotisserie chicken at least...if someone wants to kill themselves slowly by eating this junk, its up to them, but i dont want to pay for their health care bills... Report
As fast foods go this one doesn't seem to be any worse than others.

KFC Original Recipe® Double Down calories: 540 fat grams: 32 sodium: 1380
KFC Grilled Double Down calories: 460 fat grams: 23 sodium: 1430
I was thinking that this "sandwich" could make a low calorie meal for 2 people.
I think even talking about this is bogus. What kind of "control" are we looking for? If you don't want to eat it don't eat it. We as a society need to start owning our own choices and stop looking to place the blame on everyone else. Are we adults? Yes. Do we have brains? Yes. If I want to go eat a fattening whatever out at a restaurant or fast food place I don't want the person next to me pointing the silent finger. The more we entertain ideas such as these we are essentially vilifying and separating people into groups. Those "bad" people who eat those fried foods and those "good" people who stay away and give it the big X. If you don't want to eat "bad" food...don't eat it. Report
Except for the high sodium content not bad for a meal. We tried it, tastes great! Don't have to watch salt yet, so I am sure we will eat it again. Report
kfc has definitely gone too far. one of the many reasons that i don't go there anymore and haven't been there in years. their food is way too salty anyway! Report
Just looking at this 'thing' makes me ill! ICK!
Shame on KFC. What were they thinking?? Report
The whole thing is disgusting. If KFC used real chicken it STILL would be disgusting. KNOW what kind of "food" you are putting into your you know WHY KFC is now officially called KFC? Look it up. When I first saw the commercial for this heart attack in a greasy paper bag I was horrified. People on this blog are right-it is the individuals choice...but ask yourself...WHY are these the kind of choices put to us? Cheap and unhealthy-the low income get fatter-have to go broke because they end up having to pay through the nose for health care because THIS kind of food is making us sick. Healthy food is more expensive and you have to make a real effort to watch your intake. I cannot believe how much time I put into SP..many people do not have that kind of time or option. I could go on and on. But I have to go. I think it is time for some change in the fast food industry-but not this kind of change. Gross. Report
It is not up to restaurants to change their menus or to stop making unhealthy is up to people to choose to eat healthy.
So - business as usual.
If someone actually WANTS to eat food like that , it is up to them and KFC is just giving them what they want. Report
A friend of mine who really loves fast food (and eating in general) said this is just too much chicken and gets your hands all greasy. He will never order it again. I never would. Report
The thing that amazes me is that while everyone seems to be trying to be healthier the restaurant and fast food industry keeps coming up with more unhealthy foods. Report
Just thinking about this makes me want to throw up. Sounds truly disgusting. I think KFC need to re-think their Marketing strategy. I never eat there anyway, but I did, I would boycott due to bad taste (pun intended!)! Report
When I first saw this "sandwich" I thought it must surely be a joke. But as bad as it looks and is for you with all the saturated fat, sodium and calories, there are way worse things on many restaurant and fast food menus - meals that contain many more hidden calories, fat, etc. I suppose we really have to blame people and not the restaurants. If people paid closer attention to what was healthy and ate accordingly, the restaurants and fast food places would be serving healthier foods. They are going to offer what sells. Report
I used to eat the KFC buffet alot! I think there is where I packed on a lot of my calories! I don't agree with KFC. I don't think just because you can run out and do something that's not healthy for you that you should do it! I mean come on now, are we now promoting heart attacks? I think they would sell their product just as good if they marketed food that was healthy for you! I don't eat at KFC any longer just because I want to put healthy things in my body at all times. Well of course there are times I do reward myself, but I always keep it within my caloric intake for the day. If that can't be done, then I save it for another day! Report
that's a lot of calories but would be okay for atkins dieters Report
I have always liked KFC, so it's nothing against that company. From seeing the commercial, that "sandwich" just looks huge. It's much bigger than I could ever eat in one sitting. In addition, for whatever reason, I just don't like bacon on sandwiches. Report
It's a shocking, disgusting looking food thing, but... I think that's about all it is: a little shock value, for publicity. Everyone is talking about it. But, compared to such catastrophes as a plain old Big Mac (supersized!) or an order of cheese fries (seriously 2900 calories!) at Outback, the doubledown is just a piker. Report