- Harvard Professor Eric Rimm advised people to steer clear of potatoes
- Rimm called potatoes 'starch bombs' calling for smaller portions of fries
- He also referred to french fries as 'a weapon of dietary destruction'
There's bad news for fry lovers. We all knew eating French fries was unhealthy, but all of us never consciously thought of looking into just how unhealthy they were. That is, if we could avoid the whole range of studies and research done on French fries and their harmful effects on our weight and overall health. But one Harvard professor has said that the only way to eat French fries in a healthy way is to just eat- wait for it- six of them. Yes, that's the recommended portion of fries you're allowed to eat, if you wish to stay healthy. Eric Rimm, a professor in the departments of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, has had a tough few days for having made the suggestion, for no sooner had his comments hit the interwebs, the 'Fry Army' went up in arms against the health expert. Rimm has since spoken to several publications defending his comments on the delicious potato finger foods, but the storm doesn't seem to be dying down.
Here's the tweet sent out from The New York Times' Twitter account that started it all:
French fries can be a weapon of dietary destruction, but going fries-free seems like a lot to ask. So here are some better ways to eat them. https://t.co/pQerpJChDf— The New York Times (@nytimes) November 29, 2018
In the November 29 New York Times article, Rimm had advised everyone to steer clear of potatoes, which he said were 'starch bombs'. According to the article, potatoes are unhealthy for our bodies as they have a high glycemic index and have been linked with multiple health hazards including increased risk of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Rimm said that French fries, which are mostly deep fried in oil, are often served by restaurants with high-calorie toppings like cheese and chilli (spicy American gravy dish containing pound beef, red beans, onions cooked in a tomato gravy). Then came the suggestion by Rimm, that cheesed off French fry devotees around the world: "I think it would be nice if your meal came with a side salad and six french fries." Not just this, Professor Rimm called French Fries as they are served at most restaurants, 'a weapon of dietary destruction.'
Soon a number of people started tweeting their protest:
I don't have time for this kind of negativity in my life right now https://t.co/zFCFvhKMD2— Padma Lakshmi (@PadmaLakshmi) December 4, 2018
it must be a typo. they probably mean 600.— Mike Birbiglia (@birbigs) December 4, 2018
I prefer them by the pound. Five pounds is an appropriate serving size. And a quart of ketchup per pound of fries. You know, for your health.— Stephen Use Words Good (@StephenUseWords) December 4, 2018
“I would like to order only 6 fries and 1 glass of wine,” SAID NO ONE EVER. pic.twitter.com/kpoPEkBWD1— Michelle (@mbc727) December 5, 2018
BACK OFF, IVY-LEAGUE FANCYMAN— Murder by Death (@murderbydeath) December 4, 2018
There were some people however, who did take Professor Rimm's advise seriously:
I legit ate less than six fries when I ordered a chicken burger at this LA hotel yesterday— D1 (@xD1x) December 4, 2018
I am already on the right path, thanks prof
Thank you Slate - Five Guys make an option with a yummy side and just a taste of fries. The "Six Fry Restaurant Challenge." Give us options besides the extra scoop of blood sugar glop— Eric Rimm (@EricRimm) December 6, 2018
I ate six total French fries—and I may be a convert: https://t.co/8x7nwoty7J via @slate
But there weren't a lot of takers for the six-fry portion size. Professor Rimm defended his comments in a Vanity Fair article, where he also revealed how much of a backlash he has been facing: "A lot of tweeters in the U.K. and the U.S. act like I just caused a third world war!" He said that he was merely suggesting that restaurants may want to give people like himself an option of a smaller portion of fries, instead of a full basket, as is practice in the USA. He also said that a large order of fries at a fast food chain contains as many as 510 Kcal, which makes it equal consuming a whole litre of soft drink! We don't know about you, but we're pretty sure we're definitely switching to a smaller portion of fries from today.