President Donald Trump doesn’t exercise.
He’s got a theory about that. “Other than golf, he considers exercise misguided, arguing that a person, like a battery, is born with a finite amount of energy,” Evan Osnos wrote in a 2017 piece in The New Yorker.
The president, who is 6-foot-4 and about 240 pounds, also doesn’t follow any special diet, the piece said. He famously loves fried chicken, soda, and McDonald’s. While he’ll occasionally tuck into a burger from Burger King, his true love is McDonald’s fish sandwich. And he also has a soft spot for the fast-food restaurant’s French fries.
Trump, 74, on Wednesday credited those fries for his magnificent head of hair.
The claim came after Ari Fleischer, a former press secretary for President George W. Bush, posted a story on Twitter about a 2018 study that “reveals a chemical found in McDonald’s French fries may be the cure for baldness.”
“Scientists from Japan said the chemical is added to the fries in order to keep the cooking oil from frothing up. When they tested that chemical on mice, scientists said, the mice regrew hair. Scientists said this is the first time they have mass produced what they are calling ‘hair follicle germs’ with this method,” the story said.
Fleischer, who is (how to say this politely) “hair-challenged,” offered his take on the study: “It doesn’t work.”
It doesn’t work. https://t.co/fxPVvRnB3O
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) February 6, 2018
That prompted Trump to weigh in on the matter.
“No wonder I didn’t lose my hair!”
No wonder I didn’t lose my hair! https://t.co/jBFE2OEhS2
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2020
But Fox News reported that there’s another reason Trump still has his hair. “Trump may still retain his mane thanks to finasteride (also marketed as Propecia), a drug originally developed to treat prostate enlargement, but which was also found to maintain and promote the growth of scalp hair.
“Trump was confirmed to be taking the drug to treat male pattern baldness following a 2018 physical conducted by White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson. His former personal doctor, Harold Bornstein, had also previously disclosed to The New York Times that Trump took a small dose for the same reason,” Fox reported.
For the record, the 2018 study, conducted by a group of Japanese researchers from the Yokohama National University, didn’t actually assert that eating McDonald’s French fries would prevent hair loss. “Instead, their findings suggested that Dimethylpolysiloxane, a chemical found in the oil used to cook McDonald’s fries (but also in lubricants and shampoos), could assist in the preparation of hair follicle germs, which were then successfully transplanted onto mice,” Fox reported.
“The key for the mass production of [hair follicle germs] was a choice of substrate materials for culture vessel,” author and professor Junji Fukuda in a 2018 press release. “We used oxygen-permeable dimethylpolysiloxane (PDMS) at the bottom of culture vessel, and it worked very well.”
Trump’s love of McDonald’s and all fast food is legendary. In 2019, when he invited Clemson University’s football team to the White House to celebrate their NCAA championship win, the menu included “McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Burger King with some pizza,” Trump told reporters.