The clue had to do with a condition known as Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), a manageable condition that many in the U.S. and around the world suffer from. However, because so many people are familiar with POTS, many were quick to notice something didn’t hold water on Monday’s episode.
Guest host Savannah Guthrie read a clue from the Plain-Named Maladies category that read: “Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome is also known as Grinch Syndrome because this organ is too small.”
The correct answer to the prompt, according to “Jeopardy!,” was “What is the heart.”
However, as viewers were quick to point out on Twitter, the condition, which mostly affects women and children, is not necessarily characterized by having a small heart. In fact, Johns Hopkins Medicine notes that, while people’s heart rate is greatly affected by POTS, “the structure of the heart is normal” in most POTS patients.
The issue is more in the autonomic nervous system, which is supposed to regulate functions humans don’t consciously control such as heart rate, blood pressure, sweating and body temperature. These symptoms combined with an “exaggerated increase in heart rate when standing” are typically what POTS patients deal with, not an abnormally sized heart, according to JHM’s website.
It didn’t take long before viewers who know a thing or two about POTS decided to chime in on social media and criticize the show’s clue and response.
“@Jeopardymy daughter has suffered from POTS for 5 years! She isn’t a Grinch she is a WARRIOR!!! You need to apologize to the millions who suffer daily!!!” one viewer wrote.
“Can confirm, I have pots, and was extremely physically fit when it went suddenly from mild to severe. As a surprise to nobody, my heart is of normal size. This is absolute Bologna,” another wrote.
“Also wtf pretty sure my POTS is not caused by having an abnormally small heart? Otherwise I am certain the cardiologists would have mentioned this to me during my ultrasound or my other Dr when they diagnosed me w POTS… no mention of small heart size ever made,” a third added.
“hey @jeopardy this isn’t accurate at all. would love some pots representation and awareness but this ain’t it my dude,” someone else wrote.
Yahoo Entertainment reported that Dysautonomia International, a non-profit organization that fundraises research and promotes awareness of disorders like POTS, issued a statement on Twitter calling for “Jeopardy!” to apologize and accusing it of using a misogynistic term.
Representatives for “Jeopardy!” did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.