Research: French fries linked to higher risk of mortality

Research - Boggle LettersResearch - Boggle Letters

Increased consumption of french fried potatoes tied to increased risk of death.  

french fries
french fries

I love french-fried potatoes.  The smell of these little golden devils makes my mouth water.  They taste great and who can imagine eating a burger without them.  The average US resident eats approximately 29 lbs. of French fries per year​[1]​.  They come in many forms and people around the world consume them in different manners, but one thing is certain, they are terrible for you.  

A new study clearly gives you another reason to say no to fries.  This study was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2017​[2]​.  The study, “Fried potato consumption is associated with elevated mortality: an 8-y longitudinal cohort study”, looked at the association of mortality and French fry consumption.  Few studies before this one have assessed the association between potato consumption and mortality.  The study is a longitudinal analysis that included 4440 participants aged 45–79 years at baseline with an 8-year follow-up from the Osteoarthritis Initiative cohort study.  The researchers looked at potato consumption through a questionnaire.  The results revealed consuming French fried potatoes 2 to 3 times per week placed subjects at more than double the risk of death.  

Potatoes are high in carbohydrates and have limited nutritional values outside of calories.  Deep frying potatoes makes them very high in fat, and then we add salt.  They are loaded with calories and not conducive to weight loss or management.  I am not saying that you cannot have them, but I am saying that you should limit them.  A single serving of French fries may contain as many as 24 grams of fat.  That is nearly half of your daily recommended fat consumption.  

The bottom line: The frequent consumption of fried potatoes appears to be associated with an increased risk of death (mortality risk).  Additional studies are needed but this study is enough for me to reduce my consumption.

[1]“Food Democracy.”
[2]Veronese et al., “Fried Potato Consumption Is Associated with Elevated Mortality: An 8-y Longitudinal Cohort Study.”


  1. “Food Democracy.” What the average American consumes in a year, June 11, 2011.
  2. Veronese, Nicola, Brendon Stubbs, Marianna Noale, Marco Solmi, Alberto Vaona, Jacopo Demurtas, Davide Nicetto, et al. “Fried Potato Consumption Is Associated with Elevated Mortality: An 8-y Longitudinal Cohort Study.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 106, no. 1 (June 7, 2017): 162–67.

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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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