Hot chips really are going to kill you
GOLDEN. Warm. Crunchy, yet soft ... many find french fries the ultimate irresistible temptation. But now we know they double your chances of death.
They're everywhere. It's hardly possible to eat out and not find a serve on your plate. They probably even infest your freezer.
We've long known their greasy goodness is too good to be true. Cholesterol. Weight gain. Any number of fatty fallouts apply.
But denial is a beautiful - crispy - place to be.
Now though, an eight-year study has found those who regularly eat french fries have double the chance of death than those who don't.
On average, we each eat roughly about 14kg of hot fried potato chips every year. And that's a problem.
Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that those who eat fried potato two or more times each week have double the chance of dying when compared to those who eat none.
The numbers aren't insignificant. Some 4440 people aged 45 to 79 were tracked over an eight-year period, during which 236 of them died.
During that time, their potato eating habits were carefully tracked. Were they steamed? Boiled? Roasted or fried?
After peeling back the details, it became obvious that a disproportionate number of those who died ate heaps of hot chips.
But fries weren't the only accused: The increased death rate was tied to hash browns, potato gems - any form of potato seared in boiling oil.
GUILT BY ASSOCIATION?
The study does not directly convict french fries as killers. How much we eat them, however, is a correlation. A predictor.
There is most certainly a substantial link there.
We know fatty fries are absolutely unhealthy. But the researchers warn the cause of increased mortality may be the result of a whole lifestyle of choices surrounding heavy chip consumption.
The study did not examine what other unhealthy activities the participants may have undertaken - such as being couch-potatoes.
But it did find that those who limited their indulgence to just once or twice a month didn't appear to be at any increased risk.
So moderation remains the best available advice.