Thursday, July 5, 2012

Potato Chip Study

Is a calorie just a calorie? The conventional  notion that weight loss really a simple equation of calorie intake vs energy expenditure may not be completely true. Especially in the long term.  Recent research suggests that avoidance of specific foods may lead to a more stable weight pattern.

What is the potato chip study? The New England Journal of Medicine published a study in June 2011  titled “changes in diet and lifestyle and long term weight gain in women and men.” The study looked at weight changes at regular intervals in three study groups. The data was pooled and evaluated for dietary intake patterns and weight change.

The participants who ate either potato chips, French fries, or potatoes (prepared another way) had the most weight gain over the four year period. The greatest weight loss was seen in groups that consumed low fat yogurt and nuts.

What does this mean? You can simplify this data to mean that consuming high levels of simple carbohydrates lead to weight gain. The other foods looked at in the study confirm what we already know about foods: consuming a diet high in vegetables, fruits,  nuts, and minimally processed grains may be the best for long term metabolic health.