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Killer side dish? Study links eating french fries to increased risk of death

Take this news with a grain of salt (and a side of ketchup).
/ Source: TODAY

If there's one thing we've learned reading health studies, it's that everything will kill us. Seriously. Everything.

So it's OK to take this latest news with a grain of salt (and a side of ketchup). We just want to keep the people informed, you know?

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has linked eating fried potatoes — including french fries, home fries, curly fries, waffle fries, hash browns, tater tots, jojos, and any other variation we might have forgotten — at least twice a week with an increased risk of death.

French fries
Try not to look directly at them.Alamy Stock Photo

The study tracked the potato consumption of 4,400 adults between ages 45 and 79 over the course of eight years. By the end of the study, 236 people had died.

According to researchers, the twice-weekly fry consumption more than doubled the risk of death. And it's not the potatoes that are the problem — eating them boiled, baked or mashed didn't pose the same risks.

It's the fried ones that'll get you. (Especially the crispy ones.)

Now, we don't think anyone was laboring under the delusion that french fries are a health food (though in some school districts, they are considered a vegetable). This warning probably doesn't apply to the casual fry enthusiast who tucks into the odd plate of grease on special occasions.

But relying excessively on fast food for midweek dinners, or grabbing fries as a side every day for lunch? Yeah, that could be problematic.

The study is unclear as to what exactly caused the correlation. Most french fries have a lot of added salt and fat, both of which can be taxing to the system. It's also possible that the adults who were consistently reaching for fries had nutrient-poor diets overall.