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Help KFC Fight Diabetes by Purchasing Their Half-Gallon Mega Jug of Soda, Possibly Getting Diabetes!

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Don't tell your heart doctor about this one.

KFC, purveyor of perhaps the world's worst chicken for human consumption and the most gluttonous sandwich ever imagined, has quietly gained a new distinction this past year as it slowly rolls out the biggest fountain drink any fast-food outlet has dared to offer.

The KFC Mega Jug, at 64 ounces (2 liters, or half a gallon), matches the size of 7-11's largest soda vessel, the Double Big Gulp. As this blogger points out, that's about twice the liquid an adult human stomach can hold, and for a healthy, normal-sized person should take 4 or 5 hours to consume. The Mega Jug hefts so much liquid weight that it needs a paint-can-style handle for carrying.

Since you're wondering, according to KFC's online nutrition guide, 64 ounces of fountain soda is 780 to 850 calories, depending on your brand. That's roughly half the number of calories a person needs in a day.

In an era where half of Americans are overweight or obese, prompting competitors like McDonald's to nix Super Sizing and push fruit slices in Happy Meals, the Mega Jug may look irresponsible. KFC, perhaps anticipating that criticism, has launched a new promotion in some markets: Add a Mega Jug to your fried Franken-chicken for $2.99, and KFC will donate a buck for diabetes research.

KFC's calculation here seems to mirror the moral calculus of carbon credits, where companies and consumers can donate to environmentally helpful things like planting trees to offset the havoc they wreak on the Earth by doing business or jetting around the globe and air-conditioning McMansions. By throwing a dollar at research to cure diabetes -- which is projected to hit 15 percent of Americans by 2015 -- for each 64 ounces of corn-syrup-water their soon-to-be-diabetic patrons consume, KFC is cleansing itself of some of its responsibility for America's dismal public health.

The marketing geniuses at KFC might want to be careful, though: If they sell too many Mega Jugs, they won't have any space to advertise their Double Down sandwiches on college campuses anymore. Or, rather, they'll have too much space.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.