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Can Potato Consumption Lead to Type 2 in Women?

Researchers at Harvard Medical School say there is a “modest positive association” between potato consumption and the risk of type 2 diabetes in women.

“This association was more pronounced when potatoes were substituted for whole grains,” they say.

A study of 84,555 women in the Nurses’ Health Study was conducted over a 20-year period. At the start of the study, the women were between the ages of 34 and 59 years, had no history of chronic disease and completed a validated food-frequency questionnaire.

“We documented 4,496 new cases of type 2 diabetes,” write the researchers. “Potato and french-fry consumption were both positively associated with risk of type 2 diabetes after adjustment for age and dietary and nondietary factors.”

The relative risk of type 2 diabetes was 1.18 for one daily serving of potatoes and 1.16 for two weekly servings of french fries. The relative risk of type 2 diabetes for substituting one serving of potatoes per day for one serving of whole grains per day was 1.30.

“The association between potato consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes was more pronounced in obese women,” say the researchers.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, February 2006

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