I honestly didn't believe this one was for real at first. No way even KFC, purveyors of a sandwich that uses fried meat as a delivery mechanism for fried meat, would seriously market a soda size called the "mega jug." And even if they did, they'd never have the chutzpah to donate "mega jug" dollars to juvenile diabetes research.
Sadly, I had totally underestimated KFC's capacity for irony. The mega jug is a half gallon of soda, and this is a real local promotion. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation defends it thus: "JDRF supports research for type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease that results when the immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, therefore requiring a child or adult with the disease to depend on insulin treatment for the rest of their lives. It is a common misconception that type 1 diabetes is caused by obesity or eating too much junk food or sweets."
OK, yes, this is true. Overdosing on sugar does not cause type 1 diabetes, but there's still some pretty effed-up irony in this promotion. First of all, anyone who read the Babysitter's Club books knows that people with type 1 diabetes have to strictly regulate their sugar intake — meaning that this ad boils down to "Benefit sick kids by enjoying something they can't!" If you're going to go that route, why not go whole hog and make it a "drink this soda in front of a child with diabetes, making over-the-top yummy noises, and we'll give that kid a dollar" fundraiser?
Also, of course, sugar consumption IS connected to type 2 diabetes. The two diseases are different, but as the name might indicate, they are not unrelated — both have to do with pancreas function and insulin production. You drink half a gallon of soda on the regular, and your chances of perma-f*cking your insulin regulation are going to shoot right up (giving you a unique sense of kinship with the children you're helping, granted). So this is basically equivalent to a "smoke cigarettes to raise money for colon cancer" promotion.
Get Grist in your inbox