Soft-centred potato ‘killers’
much of a stretch to brand fried potatoes, or any other form of potato, as unhealthy,” Keeling said. “The food consumption reported in the study may not have reflected usage over the course of the lifetime, further illustrating the danger of branding potatoes (or any other food item) as being unhealthy or healthy in the context of this study.”
Keeling went on to promote the nutritional value of potatoes, which, of course, is his job.
Veronese did not dispute some of Keeling’s charges, agreeing that the research subjects were taken from a study on osteoarthritis and that the one-time questionnaire does have “some limitations”.
But Veronese said such one-off questionnaires are “common” to long-term studies. What’s more, the researcher added, osteoarthritis subjects share similar characteristics with the general population in the US.
Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University, wasn’t so alarmed by the study’s results.
“First, this is an association,” Nestle said. “Fried potatoes are associated with somewhat higher mortality, but this does not mean that they cause death. People who eat a lot of fried potatoes might have other unhealthy lifestyle practices.
“Second,” Nestle added, “the association is not strictly dose-related. At lower levels of intake, the association is not statistically significant. The moral here is moderation. If you love French fries, make them a once-in-a-while treat.” – Washington Post