Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty

According to scientists who are, at this very moment, slowly dying just like the rest of us, eating French fries at least twice per week has been linked to a risk of death that is more than doubled—i.e. 200 percent. In a parallel study, French fries were also found to be fucking delicious, as well as among the few things that make life tolerable these days as we wait around to see whether the erosion of civilization or the environment will be the first to take everyone out in a cataclysm of fire and pain. But then again, scientists say, French fries have lots of fat and salt and ehhhhhhhhhhh you see, that’s bad for you. Better eat some fruit so you can stick around a little longer in this shitstorm.

The new study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, looked at 4,400 people between the ages of 45 and 79 over the course of eight years. By the end of this eight-year study of older people who were nearing the end of their lives, researchers were shocked to find that 236 of them had died. And after double-checking that there were no other factors that could have explained this—a gas leak, a wrathful spirit exacting vengeance for the wrongs visited upon it in the waking world, nachos—scientists zeroed in on the heedless, libertine consumption of fried potatoes as the most obvious cause.

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This includes all the common variations on fried potatoes: French fries; hash browns; fried potatoes with a little garlic and rosemary; fried potatoes drizzled with melted cheese; fried potatoes tossed with truffle oil and shredded copies of medical journal studies; fried potatoes made with a mother’s love; fried potatoes made with a lover’s spite. Fried potatoes lobbed at the faces of scientists who already took watching TV, sleeping, and sitting. Fried potatoes who offer only amity and loyalty, as you run headfirst to greet the coming chaos, like Robert Redford and a greasy Paul Newman at the end of Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid. Eat your little fried friends at least two times per week, scientists say, and your risk of death will dramatically increase from “absolutely” to “absolutely, and also some smug science fuck gets to say ‘I told you so.’”

Meanwhile, unfried potatoes are still considered relatively healthy, so it’s fine to eat them in mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, potato salad, etc. Only when they are fried do potatoes become deadly, or especially tasty.

Still, as we’ve heard so often in recent discussions about climate change—along with other things that make you want to gorge on fried potatoes while sitting in front of a TV until you fall asleep—science is not an exact science. The study acknowledges that right now this link is “merely an association,” saying more research with larger, potentially less aged groups of people is needed. They will have no shortage of volunteers.

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