March 2, 2006 — Eating potatoes is associated with an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes, according to the results of a prospective study reported in the February issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
"The role of potatoes in a diet aimed at reducing the burden of chronic disease has been controversial," write Thomas L. Halton, MD, from Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Mass, and colleagues. "Potatoes, a high glycemic form of carbohydrate, are hypothesized to increase insulin resistance and risk of type 2 diabetes."
During the study, 4496 participants were diagnosed as having type 2 diabetes. After adjustment for age and dietary and nondietary factors, potato and french fry consumption were both positively associated with risk for type 2 diabetes.
"Our findings suggest a modest positive association between the consumption of potatoes and the risk of type 2 diabetes in women," the authors write. "This association was more pronounced when potatoes were substituted for whole grains."