Health Advice



Krispy Kreme post-vaccine doughnut offer sparks joy – and concerns about sugar overload

Simone Jasper, The News & Observer on

Published in Health & Fitness

Krispy Kreme fans are rejoicing over the company's latest promotion: a free glazed doughnut every day this year, as long you show proof that you've gotten a COVID-19 vaccine.

But not everyone is a fan of the sugar rush.

Some experts, including the top public health official in North Carolina — the birthplace of and perhaps biggest cheerleader for all things Krispy Kreme — are reminding people about the importance of moderation.

"I love me a Krispy Kreme doughnut, but maybe not every day," Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, said during a news conference Tuesday. "But I would also like to say that we are making sure that folks know the true benefits of this vaccine for themselves, for their families and their communities."

Dr. Aseem Malhotra, a doctor in the United Kingdom who has shared controversial views on diets, also weighed in, saying high blood sugar levels are a risk factor for COVID-19 mortality.

"Krispy Kreme is offering FREE doughnuts for people getting the vaccine," he said on Twitter. "You really couldn't make it up."

In its announcement Monday, Krispy Kreme said it wants "to support everyone doing their part to make the country safe by getting vaccinated as soon as the vaccine is available to them."

That resonated with Dr. Vincent Rajkumar of the Mayo Clinic.

"Well this is amazing," he said on Twitter. "Anything and everything to help combat vaccine hesitancy."

Dr. Leana Wen, a medical analyst for CNN, said she appreciated Krispy Kreme's "out-of-the-box thinking" and hopes other companies will offer incentives for vaccinated customers.


But, she said, doughnut fans could gain about 15 pounds by the end of the year if they eat one glazed treat a day without changing their diet or exercise habits.

"I'm sure that's not your intention," she wrote in a series of tweets that that drew some critics.

So what is the nutritional information for a glazed doughnut from the company known for its enticing "Hot Now" signs?

Each has 190 calories and 10 grams of sugar, according to the company. It has five grams of saturated fat, which accounts for 25% of the daily value based on a 2,000-calorie diet.

Eating too much added sugar or fat could put people at risk for high cholesterol, diabetes and other serious medical conditions, according to health officials.

Some social media users argued it's everyone's choice whether to take Krispy Kreme up on its free doughnut offer after getting vaccinated. Among them was a woman who said she survived COVID-19.

"If it has the hope of helping even one single other person not endure what I did, I'm gladly being vaccinated," she wrote on Facebook. "So you do you but don't whine if (Krispy Kreme) chooses to reward those of us who want to see COVID die by whatever means necessary."

Krispy Kreme did not respond Wednesday afternoon to a request for comment.

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