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Economy

Beware, eating chips twice a week ‘doubles death risk’

Fried potatoes consumption is alarmingly increasing worldwide. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Fried potatoes consumption is alarmingly increasing worldwide. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

People who eat any form of fried potatoes more than twice a week double their risk of dying early compared to those who avoid them, a recent study shows.

The study, which was published last week in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition estimated that about 13 out of 1,000 people die every year as a result.

It did not link eating potatoes that have not been fried to a similar early mortality risk as eating French fries (chips) and bhajia.

“Of the 4,400 potato consumers in the US who were followed for eight years 236 people, 5.4 per cent of the baseline population died, indicating a global mortality rate of between every 11 to 17 out of 1,000 persons a year,” warned Dr Nicola Veronese, lead author of the study and a scientist at the National Research Council in Padova, Italy.

“Fried potatoes consumption is alarmingly increasing worldwide.”

Dr Veronese said they identified various possible potential causes that may influence the relation between potato consumption and mortality.

These include; body-mass-index, weekly alcohol consumption, total energy intake, and adherence to a healthy diet, physical activity, depressive symptoms and ethnicity.

Others included; smoking habits, educational level, yearly income and variables pertaining to physical health status.

“Many factors could explain these findings…,” she said.

“First, French fries and fried potatoes typically contain high amounts of dietary fat (including trans-fat) and added salt, which may increase the risk of death.”

A higher consumption of fried potatoes could increase the risk of other chronic diseases, such as obesity, hypertension, and diabetes “which are also powerful risk factors for cardiovascular diseases”, said Dr Veronese.

“The mortality was confirmed and adjudicated by several methods namely; autopsy report, coroner’s report, death certificate medical records, National Death Index, obituary, or Social Security.

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