You’ve probably heard that KFC’s Double Down — a sandwich that places cheese, sauce and bacon in-between two fried chicken filets that act as the bread — is making a comeback. The sandwich debuted in 2010 and was a viral sensation, and it remained on KFC menus until 2014. Now, the fast food restaurant is bringing it back for a month, starting on March 6.
The news is actually quite timely, as a new report just found that more than half of the world’s population will be overweight or obese by 2035. The World Obesity Federation’s 2023 atlas equates that to four billion people (51% of the population) in a mere 12 years time, and rates of obesity are climbing especially quickly among children and those in lower-income countries. In fact, the report found that childhood obesity could more than double by 2035, to 208 million boys and 175 million girls.
Hey, we can all enjoy a little fast food once in a while, especially if we’re aware that it’s bad for us and can afford healthy, nutritious meals most of the time. But for groups like kids (who can be easily influenced by advertising) and low-income families (who want to eat something cheap that both tastes good and is filling), monstrous creations like the Double Down and Burger King’s new four-patty burger can create dangerous eating habits that will turn into health problems down the road.
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“Governments and policymakers around the world need to do all they can to avoid passing health, social and economic costs on to the younger generation,” Louise Baur, president of the World Obesity Federation, said in a statement. And she’s right. Sure, people have free will to eat whatever the hell they want. But the consumer isn’t to blame here. Corporations who stand to make a profit off of people’s poor health need to be held accountable for the problems they’re causing because they’re seemingly the only ones who are benefitting from an overweight population.
Obesity is expensive. The Federation said that health conditions caused by being overweight will cost more than $4 trillion annually by 2035, which is 3% of the global GDP. So why aren’t policy makers doing more to not only save money but to keep the world’s people healthy?
Oh yeah, because their palms are the ones being greased by these corporations in the first place. Go ahead and have that Double Down if you’re feeling nostalgic, but keep in mind who you’re paying every time you take a bite.