Statistician Nate Silver Takes on the KFC Double Down


We were content to rate the KFC Double Down a two out of five blechs and leave it at that, but FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver has taken it upon himself to add some interesting analysis to the already hyper-analyzed monstrosity. Statistically speaking, it seems, the Double Down is not as stratospherically unhealthy as KFC and the national media may have led you to believe.

Silver, who was last seen ranking New York’s most livable neighborhoods, has applied his statistical prowess to the sandwich, measuring its caloric, fat, and sodium content in relation to other fast-food creations, such as the Big Mac and Hardee’s Monster Thickburger. Plenty of sandwiches marketed as “healthier” alternatives to the meat patties populating the fast food universe — hello, Chipotle — are actually worse for you than the Double Down, thanks to all of the sodium and fat that’s packed into them, but that fact tends to be lost amid lurid images of fried chicken masquerading as sandwich bread.

So is, Silver asks, “the Double Down the most gluttonous fast food sandwich ever created?” Well, that depends on how it’s measured. “At the margins, consuming one Double Down almost certainly isn’t as bad for you as a Triple Baconator, a Thickburger, or even a fully-loaded Chipotle burrito,” Silver writes. “But while those products should, in theory, fill you up for at least half the day, the Double Down might leave you hankering for seconds. It’s a high bar to clear, but it’s the closest thing to pure junk food of any “sandwich” being marketed today.”

Which is, non-relatively speaking, a dubious an achievement, no matter how you measure it.