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Eating French Fries Could Increase the Risk of Earlier Death

Jun 19, 2017 08:47 AM EDT
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A new study revealed that people who frequently consumes French fries or other fried potato products were more likely to die early than those who eat less or don't eat at all.

The study, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, showed that eating fried potatoes two or more times per week could double the risk earlier death.

"Fried potatoes consumption is increasing worldwide," said Dr. Nicola Veronese, a scientist at the National Research Council in Padova, Italy and lead author of the study, in a report from CNN. "Even if it is an observational study, we believe that the cooking oil, rich in trans-fat, is an important factor in explaining mortality in those eating more potatoes."

For the study, the researchers conducted a longitudinal analysis of 4,440 participants aged 45 to 79 years old. The participants were part of the 8-year Osteoarthritis Initiative Cohort study. The researchers divided the participants depending of the amount of potatoes they consume.

Over the course of the eight years, a total of 236 of the participants died. During the follow-up, the researchers observed that the participants who consumed fried potatoes two to three times every week doubled their risk of early death compared to those who did not eat fried potatoes.

Interestingly, only fried potatoes were associated with the increased risk of death. The researchers defined fried potatoes as something that have a preparation requiring a fryer, which include French fries, potato chips and hash browns. Other methods of cooking potatoes did not have the same negative influence in mortality. Additionally, the age and sex of the participants did not influence the result.

However, the researchers observed that men were more likely to enjoy eating fried potatoes than women. Younger participants were also most likely to consume fried potatoes that older participants.

The researchers noted that the study is purely observational and no direct causal relationship could be established between fried potato consumption and higher risk of mortality. Nevertheless, the researchers warned that fried potatoes, like all products cooked with oils, poses a health risk to humans.

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