Pass on the Potatoes, Go for the Tomatoes

Potato chips, potatoes, sugar-sweetened beverages, red meats and processed meats add the most weight

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Everyone has their own favorite junk foods to snack on. But did you stop to think how it would affect you in five years? Some foods are just not worth the weight gain.

We’ve heard it all before: eat your fruits and vegetables; they’re good for you. But it’s so hard to listen when there’s no evidence to back it up. Well now researchers have found the proof you’ve been looking for.

"Put down the potato chips and pick up some fruits or vegetables."

Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D. from the Harvard School of Public Health and colleagues found that potato chips, potatoes, sugar-sweetened beverages, red meats and processed meats added the most weight. These are the findings of a 20-year multi-cohort study.

The study included more than 120,000 individuals who were examined every four years. At the beginning of the study, the male and female participants were not obese and had not been diagnosed with any chronic diseases.

After each four-year follow up, participants gained on average 3.35 pounds, which added up to 16.8 pounds by the end of the study. The study showed that certain foods and lifestyle factors caused positive and negative weight changes.

As you would expect, foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and yogurt, along with lifestyle factors such as exercising and getting enough sleep (more than six and less than eight hours a night), were more likely to lead to decreased weight over time.

In conclusion, this study has shown that all foods and lifestyle choices will affect weight gain or loss. So be – and stay aware -of what’s going on with your body. And pass on the potatoes.

The research is published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
June 24, 2011
Last Updated:
June 25, 2011