Harvard research proving benefits of eating chicken skin?

One of my friends shared this article by Apple Daily titled “Chicken skin is not really unhealthy, good for heart because of its unsaturated fat”, on Facebook.



The lede mentioned a research from the Harvard School of Public Health which pointed out that most of the fat in chicken skin are constituted by heart-healthy unsaturated fats, and thus eating chicken skin is not entirely unhealthy, despite public’s belief of the opposite.

This article is a good news for many people because (nearly) everyone loves chicken skin yet, at the same time, is worried of it being fat, but now we don’t have to worry anymore! Having said that, we still have to stay skeptical and so I tried to google the research mentioned in the article, but I could not find any specific research or report from Harvard University addressing chicken skin! Instead, I found two articles of similar topic.



The first article from the website of online calories counter Fitday pointed out that Harvard School of Public Health did mention about the benefits of eating chicken skin, not in any research or report, in a “Ask the Expert” on their website (https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/2012/06/21/ask-the-expert-healthy-fats/ ). Apple Daily is not accurate enough with its source. Interestingly, Apple Daily’s lede is very similar to one of the paragraphs in this article. This article also mentioned the drawbacks of chicken skin, as well as a conclusion to state the importance of a balanced meal.

The other article is published by SCMP on December 25, 2015.



The reporter used an even more careful approach than Fitday to handle this topic that she did not only include the data from Harvard’s website but also consulted a nutritionist to comment on the pros and cons of chicken skin. One thing is clear, there isn’t any research or report from Harvard School of Public Health concerning chicken skin.   picture4

In fact, the article by Apple Daily did not mention a single word about the health concern of eating chicken skin after the lede, but was introducing different cuisine made by chicken skin along with a list of restaurants serving them instead! This article is clearly a promotion for chicken skin cuisine, though it is disguised as an article concerning the health issue of eating chicken skin by exaggerating data from Harvard’s website as “research” and paraphrase some old article from a health website as the lede.


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