On its face, the Double Down looks disgustingly unhealthy. But how does it really compare in a world of Thickburgers, Angry Tendercrisps and Triple Baconators?
FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver took a break from politics to do some math and give us the answer:
I've created an index based on the amount of fat, sodium and cholesterol that the Double Down and a variety of comparable sandwiches contain as a portion of the USDA daily allowance. (In the fat category, saturated fats are counted double and trans-fats are counted triple.) The index is scaled such that the Original Recipe version of the sandwich receives a score of 1.00, a measure of gluttony that will hereafter be known as The Double Down (DD).**
By this measure, the Double Down is indeed quite unhealthy, but some other sandwiches are just as bad. The Burger King Chicken Tendercrisp (1.00 DDs), which has less cholesterol but more fat and sodium, is comparably unhealthy to the Double Down on balance. The chicken ranch sandwiches from Sonic (0.94 DDs) and Jack-in-the-Box (0.98 DDs) are close. And surprisingly, some sandwiches from "fast casual" restaurants that have a reputation for healthy food do even worse. Panera's Chipotle Chicken checks in at 1.49 DD's — it has almost 50 percent more bad stuff than the Double Down — and Boston Market's Chicken Carver at 1.14. So do some products that stretch the definition of "sandwich". A chicken burrito from Chipotle with rice, black beans, cheese and corn salsa will cost you 1.16 Double Downs: load it up with sour cream, guacamole, and picante salsa as well and you're up to 1.69. A pack of five McDonald's Chicken Selects with a side of ranch sauce is worth 1.23 Double Downs.