Will KFC Go Cups Make You a Worse Driver?

(Photo courtesy KFC)Break out the wet wipes and air freshener –– Kentucky Fried Chicken has just released Go Cups for behind-the-wheel snacking. Targeting America's love of fast food, driving, and cheap meals, the containers have smaller bottoms that are designed to fit in a standard automobile cup holder.  "People are already eating on the go," a spokesperson from KFC told Yahoo Shine, "and we're trying to make that as easy as possible." 

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The patented container, which took two years to design, cradles a deep-fried bounty of seasoned potato wedges with your choice of Chicken Littles, Extra Crispy Tenders, Original Recipe Boneless, Original Recipe Bites, or Hot Wings, all for a bottom-of-the-bucket price of $2.49. Before we get distracted parsing the difference between Littles, Bites, and Tenders, let's evaluate the ways eating chicken and fries on the road is a finger-lickin' bad idea.

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Distracted Driving. Eating while driving is just as dangerous as talking on a cell phone or texting. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, eating while behind the wheel increases the risk of an accident by as much as 80 percent. A study by Allstate Insurance found that eating and drinking were the most frequent causes of distracted driving, and according to a survey by ExxonMobile, 70 percent of drivers eat while driving. Fried chicken even makes the list of 10 riskiest foods to eat while driving. Why? Aside from simply diverting your attention from the road intermittently, eating anything greasy means you'll wipe your fingers frequently — another distraction, which also takes your hands off the wheel. So, put down that Tender (or is it a Little?). KFC counters that with their Go Cup, "The food is above the edge of the container so it's as convenient to get to as possible."

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Distracted Eating. A recent study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that eating while multitasking (i.e., driving) increases food intake. Plus, the very definition of fast food means that you buy and eat it quickly. The brain takes about 20 minutes to register fullness, by that time you may have devoured one –– or three –– seasoned potato wedges too many. A paper by the Harvard School of Public Health points out that distracted eating can lead to weight gain. So can breaded chicken and fried potatoes.

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KFC is holding a photo contest on Instagram, #GoCupGo, to promote its new product, and while the meals are heavy on the salt, fat, and calories (one serving is 540 calories with 28 grams of fat and 1,440 milligrams of sodium), they do look tasty. The cup features a clear plastic lid to keep the crisp breaded chicken and golden potato wedges hot. The Go Cup can be seen in parks, on campuses, and even on the back of a vintage locomotive. So far, no consumers have actually been foolish enough to post a Go Cup snapshot while driving.

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