The iconic Krispy Kreme doughnut company has recently announced that people who visit its stores and have been vaccinated can receive a free glazed doughnut a day for the rest of the year.
While this seems sweet in concept, the company has faced online backlash. Some doctors have denounced the giveaway by pointing out the negative health effects eating a doughnut a day will cause, and that Krispy Kreme is fueling the American obesity crisis.
One doctor compares the offer to giving people cigarettes. “Krispy Kreme offering free doughnuts for getting vaccinated is like Marlboro offering free cigarettes for getting a flu shot. We have an obesity epidemic in this country that is killing us ...,” Eugene Gu tweeted.
Others directly warn of the health concerns. “First, if someone indeed eats an Original Glazed #KrispyKreme doughnut every day as your offer provides, and changed no other aspects of their diet/exercise, they'd gain approximately 15 pounds by the end of 2021,” Leanna Wen tweeted. This tweet acts as though people would change their entire schedule to get a free doughnut a day that only costs 99 cents! If people wanted to eat Krispy Kreme, they would have been doing so before the promotion.
While other doughnut chains like Dunkin’ Donuts have 9,394 locations in the United States, there are only 360 Krispy Kreme stores in America across 42 states. In Ohio, there are a measly seven with the closest to Athens being over an hour away. It’s safe to say most people trying to avoid doughnuts won’t be tempted by an onslaught of Krispy Kreme locations. The cost of gas to reach a Krispy Kreme for a free doughnut will likely cost more than if someone just bought one normally.
Over 50 million Americans have a fear of needles, placing it in the top 10 most common phobias in the nation. Getting vaccinated for COVID-19 can be scary for many people, and knowing that a free glazed doughnut waits on the other side of that cold doctor’s office can help put people’s minds at ease.
In reality, most people will use their cards as an incentive to get Krispy Kreme on occasion instead of altering their schedule to eat a cheap, unhealthy doughnut every day. Even the people that take the promotion to the extreme and try to hit as many stores as they can in a day are unlikely to take these extensive trips anymore than a few times just to say they did it.
2020 was a miserable year, and as the nation slowly begins to reopen, it's the little comforts that can make all the difference. Krispy Kreme’s promotion shouldn’t be seen as an attack on American health, but rather an incentive to be vaccinated and push the country toward a better future.
Charlene Pepiot is a junior studying English at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk more about it? Let Charlene know by emailing her @firstname.lastname@example.org.