The Checkup

Is buying KFC by the bucket a good way to fight breast cancer?

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Adapted from The Post's daily health blog.

For the "Buckets for the Cure" campaign, KFC will donate money to Susan G. Komen for the Cure at a rate of 50 cents for every special pink bucket of chicken.

But bear in mind that the "F" in KFC once stood for "fried." Here's a line from the National Cancer Institute: ". . . studies have shown that an increased risk of developing colorectal, pancreatic, and breast cancer is associated with high intakes of well-done, fried, or [barbecued] meats."

Beyond that, since obesity raises breast cancer risk, it's worth looking at some numbers: According to the KFC Web site, an original-recipe fried chicken breast has 320 calories and 15 grams of total fat, including 3.5 grams of saturated fat. Even the grilled-chicken option, though less caloric and fat-laden (a grilled breast has 190 calories, 6 grams total fat and 1.5 grams saturated fat), still fits into that "barbecued" category. So, no, I don't think that buying fried chicken by the bucket is a good way to fight breast cancer.

Also, the fine print points out that "KFC restaurant operators have contributed 50 cents to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure for each Komen branded bucket purchased by the operators from April 5, 2010-May 9, 2010. . . . Customer purchases of KFC buckets during the promotion will not directly increase the total contribution." (It's also noted that KFC has guaranteed the contribution will be at least $1 million. Which really is very nice.)

Notice that the promotions are careful not to mention that any purchase is necessary. They simply say that "for every pink bucket" -- not the sale of every bucket -- 50 cents goes to Komen.

-- Jennifer LaRue Huget

The readers voted: In response to a poll, 56 percent of 1,198 readers deemed the campaign "misguided and makes both parties look bad"; 31 percent said "it's a nice idea, but kind of a strange pairing"; and 13 percent said it's a fantastic idea and we should all support it.

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