East German nutrition experts are rallying behind one of the capitalist world's favorite foods - the hamburger.

A government nutrition newspaper said those who consider hamburgers "frightful clumps of meat" or the "most insipid product on the face of the Earth" are mistaken.Nutrition Research, in an edition obtained Saturday, pointed out that hamburgers are popular around the world and that the trend "will not stop at the borders of the German Democratic Republic (ast Germany)."

There are about 350 fast-food restaurants in East Germany, and the number will triple in the next few years, the newspaper said. The restaurants are government-controlled.

The report did not say how popular hamburgers are in the communist country.