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Each daily serving of potato chips associated with 1.7 lbs weight gain over 4 years
Thursday, June 23, 2011 9:18 am Email this article
Each daily serving of potato chips was associated with a weight gain of 1.7 pounds over 4 years according to a study by Harvard researchers.
The lead author of the study was Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, an associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital. Subjects
Subjects: 120,877 U.S. women and men
The findings are based on data from three large, long-term government-funded trials looking at diet, lifestyle and health in adults: the Nurses’ Health Study, which has tracked 121,701 women since 1976; the Nurses’ Health Study II, which has followed 116,686 women since 1989; and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, which includes 51,529 men enrolled in 1986.
The new analysis involves 20 years of data on 120,877 men and women from these three cohorts. Researchers tracked changes in participants’ eating and lifestyle habits—and weight—every four years.
Average Weight Gain
Average weight gain over 4 years: 3.4 lbs or 2.4%
The average 4-year weight gain in this study was 3.4 pounds or 2.4 percent of their body weight.
Comments from the Lead Author
Comments from Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian
“For diet, conventional wisdom often recommends ‘everything in moderation,’ with a focus only on total calories consumed,” says Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, an associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and lead author of the study.
“Our results demonstrate that the quality of the diet — the types of food and beverages that one consumes — is strongly linked to weight gain.”
“Small dietary and other lifestyle changes can together make a big difference — for bad or good,” says Mozaffarian.
“That makes it very easy to gradually gain weight unintentionally, but also means that a little bit of attention to a handful of dietary and other lifestyle changes can prevent this.”
Study’s Limitations: self-reported portion size, and were white, educated adults
The study limitations included that it relied on self-reported portion size and used different serving sizes between foods.
The study was also of mostly white, educated adults.
Another study found that carbohydrates from refined grains, potatotes and foods with simple sugars are associated with a larger increase in waist.
In his book “Good Calories Bad Calories”, Gary Taubes writes that foods to be avoided as advocated by low-carbohydrate advocates include:
- Bread, and everything else made with flour
- Cereals, including breakfast cereals and milk puddings
- Potatoes and all other white root vegetables
- Foods containing much sugar
- All sweets
Mozaffarian D, Hao T, Rimm EB, Willett WC, Hu FB. Changes in diet and lifestyle and long-term weight gain in women and men. N Engl J Med. 2011 Jun 23, 364(25):2392-404.
AUTHOR’S CONTACT INFORMATION
Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, DrPH
665 Huntington Ave, Bldg. 2-319
Boston, MA 02115 USA
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