(This story has been posted on The Wall Street Journal Online's Health Blog at http://blogs.wsj.com/health.)
By Katherine Hobson
Susan G. Komen for the Cure is finding itself in a bucket of hot ... chicken.
The breast cancer charity's latest addition to the pink ribbon product army is KFC, which is selling "specially designed pink buckets of grilled and Original Recipe chicken." Komen gets 50 cents from every sale, with a minimum $1 million donation from KFC and a target of $8 million to fund breast cancer research and local Komen affiliates.
But as the Weighty Matters blog notes today, the alliance is raising eyebrows. It's one thing to sell beribboned loungewear or orange-ginger candles and another thing entirely to put that symbol on fried chicken.
The American Institute for Cancer Research says there is "convincing evidence" that excess body fat ups the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. Obesity is also tied to shorter survival for women who develop cancer. And a study published online last month in the International Journal of Obesity concludes that "obese compared with normal weight women had an 80% increased risk of cancer with more advanced stages." Here's the National Cancer Institute's fact sheet on obesity and cancer risk.
Of course, you don't have to eat Original Recipe thighs, which have about 220 calories each, 130 of those from fat. You could opt for a grilled chicken drumstick, at 70 calories (30 from fat). And, to Komen and KFC's credit, the promotion doesn't mention the Extra Crispy variety of chicken, which goes up to 510 calories, 290 of those from fat, for a single breast.
We have a call into Komen for their response, and will update this if we hear from them.
Hat tip: HealthNewsReview blog
Update: Andrea Rader, a Komen spokesperson, says KFC gives the charity a chance to "reach a lot of people we wouldn't ordinarily reach" with information on breast health. "We saw this as an opportunity to engage," she says. As for the chicken, she points to the grilled option and KFC's veggie sides as healthful options.
Image: Bloomberg News
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