Lawsuit Targets Trans Fat at KFC

  1. Lawsuit Targets Trans Fat at KFC

    Lawsuit Targets Trans Fat at KFC

    Group Says It's Hard for Customers to Know Amount of Fat Used in KFC Restaurants By Todd Zwillich
    WebMD Medical News Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD
    on Tuesday, June 13, 2006

    June 13, 2006 -- A watchdog group sued fast-food giant KFC on Tuesday in a bid to stop the company from using heart-disease-causing oil in its foods.

    The suit charges that KFC does not inform consumers that it continues to use partially hydrogenated vegetable oil in fried chicken and other products sold at its more than 5,400 outlets nationwide.

    A statement issued by Yum! Brands, Inc., which owns KFC, called the suit "frivolous and without merit."

    Partially hydrogenated oil contains trans fat; since the early 1990s studies have linked trans fat to heart attacks, strokes, and other forms of cardiovascular disease.

    Trans Fat Limits

    Government recommendations urge consumers to limit daily trans fat intake to no more than 1% of total calories. That comes to 2 grams per day for the average recommended 2,000-calorie daily diet.

    But a KFC meal including three pieces of extra-crispy chicken contains 15 grams of trans fat, while a single pot pie contains 14 grams, charged the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

    "Typical KFC meals are literally dripping with trans fat," says Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of Center for Science in the Public Interest, which backed the suit.

    The suit officially targets KFC outlets in the District of Columbia. But Jacobson said it was intended to get the chain to change its oils nationwide.

    A nutritionnutrition calculator on the chainís web site displays the amount of trans fat in food. But the suitís backers say that few consumers visit web sites before ordering fast food, and that the information is not readily available in restaurants.

    "Consumers donít know that KFC utilizes trans fat products. They deserve to know," says Richard D. Heideman, an attorney with the law firm Heideman, Nudelman & Kalik.

    But the statement from Yum! Brands, Inc. says "all KFC products are safe to eat and meet or exceed all government regulations, and we take health and safety issues very seriously." Company officials say they are reviewing the use of different oils but "a number of factors," including taste, affect their decisions.

    A 2002 report from the Institute of Medicine declared that consumers should keep their intake of trans fat as low as possible. The report led the FDA in January to order packaged foods to list trans fat amounts on their nutrition labels. The ruling did not apply to restaurants.


    SOURCES: Complaint, Arthur Hoyte, MD v. Yum! Brands, Inc., Superior Court of the District of Columbia, June 13, 2006. Michael F. Jacobson, executive director, Center for Science in the Public Interest. Richard D. Heideman, attorney, Heideman, Nudelman & Kalik. Statement, Yum! Brands, Inc. Institute of Medicine: "Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids," Sept. 5, 2005. 2005 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report.

  2. Did you also know that as of Jan 2006, food labels must list trans fat; however, if it is less than .5 grams per serving it can still be listed as 0 trans fat.


  3. ... in late breaking news man sues Vodka producers, sighting the bottles did not clearly warn of the impending drunken stupors and resultant hangovers!

  4. I hate trans fat. Thats why I try to avoid fast food. You just dont know what it's made of.

  5. Education is the only obesity remedy. I avoid fast food because I understand that instant gratification has a price. I love the taste but it's not worth the fattening side effects.:hot: :burg:

  6. Bohica should watch out.... he's been on a KFC cheat binge lately.

    or at least he was touting it last night in the shoutbox.

    But honestly, that is a sick amount of sat fat. 7 times the recomended daily intake... just gross.

  7. After thought...

    What really gets me from a Corporate standpoint is there unwillingness to admit that they need to make changes. With Americans slowley becomming more aware of their health, I would think they would jump at the chance to say "Yes, we are taking strides to make our chicken healthy and have said plan in the works ... yadda yadda yadda..."

    Look.. here is Wendy's doing things better:

  8. I don't know about all this. I think what Wendy's a couple other fast food places are doing in trying to offer healthier food is a good thing, but in the end isn't that why we, and by we I mean people who actually have some knowledge of nutrition, liked that stuff for an occasional cheat? McDonald's every day, no. A greasy ass quarter pounder with cheese and a side of fries once every couple months when the urge hits, yes.

    I guess if the taste isn't bad, no biggie, and they of course can do what they want. I'm just worried that this is a response to the "you made me fat" crowd's lawsuits instead of a genuine business move toward healthier selections. By that I mean I'd hate it on an ethical level if fast food companies took responsibility for the actions of the inflatable rafts with eyeballs that frequent their establishments.

  9. I think it's a question of time. Mc donalds is making salads, Subway is getting bigger and bigger, and people will ask for better choices, there will be better choices coming up..I hope so..


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