I've known that french fries have a high glycemic index, meaning that they get converted into blood sugar quickly, leaving you feeling hungry sooner. Accordingly, it shouldn't be surprising that a new study finds that:
Eating more potato chips and French fries is likely to lead to a bigger weight gain over the years than the weight change associated with eating more of other foods, new research indicates.
The study, from the New England Journal of Medicine, stands out because it quantifies how much weight a person is likely to gain or lose over four years based on one additional daily serving of a range of specific foods. Eating more potatoes correlated with a gain of 1.28 pounds, with French fries in particular associated with a 3.35-pound gain.
Some other findings:
[S]ugary drinks, processed meat and red meat were associated with about a one-pound gain. Eating more fruits and vegetables, nuts, whole grains and yogurt correlated with slight weight loss over four years. Big jumps in physical activity were associated with smaller weight gains, and increased TV-viewing with bigger gains.
Hmm. I do like potatoes in just about any form -- chips, fries, mashed, hashed, or baked. I don't eat that much red meat, but I do love turkey sandwiches for lunch, so that's a fair amount of processed meat. And I'm sure that my TV watching is up there. . . . On the other hand, I do eat a fair amount of vegetables, fruit, whole grain, and yogurt.
And at my peak, I probably did end up with about a pound/year weight gain compared to the end of law school.
But over the past six months, I've run off all of that extra weight, and I'm back to what I weighed when I was in law school, with a body mass index of 21.5 or under. The big differences were a huge jump in physical exercise, and cutting out unnecessary snacking (with the help of a food journal). So I think I will continue to say, "Pass the potatoes, please."