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Disappointment at U.S Attack on NZ’s Favourite Vege

Potatoes New Zealand
24 June 2011

Potatoes New Zealand Disappointed at U.S Attack on N.Z’s Favourite Vegetable

Potatoes New Zealand believes New Zealand media coverage of a recent report published in the New England Journal of Medicine this week is misleading and that the findings are of little relevance in a New Zealand context.

“Potatoes are an important, nutritious part of almost every New Zealander’s diet,” said Glenda Gourley, food and education consultant for Potatoes New Zealand. “Coverage in the Dominion Post may have caused concern for many readers because of claims eating potatoes will make you fat.

The U.S study claimed that people who ate an extra serving of french fries every day gained an average of 1.5 kilograms over a four-year period.

Mrs Gourley is disappointed at the U.S study’s claims. “Potatoes are one of the most nutritious and affordable food people can eat. Of course if a person chooses to eat an extra serving of any food they can be expected to gain weight over time.”

Sue Pollard, CEO at New Zealand Nutrition Foundation says the study needs to be put into context, “A key message from this research is that weight gain is more about food intake than exercise. People can take simple steps, such as avoiding adding extra fats while cooking and using a smaller dinner plate - they don’t need to not worry about their potato consumption.”

In stark contrast to the findings reported, recent research conducted by the U.S National Centre for Food and Safety Technology showed people can include potatoes in their diet and still lose weight.

Dr. Britt Burton-Freeman, PhD, MS, the lead researcher on the project says, “The results of this study confirm what health professionals and nutrition experts have said for years; when it comes to weight loss, it is not about eliminating food or food groups, rather it is reducing calories that count.”

To learn more comprehensive potato nutrition facts and research, visit the Potatoes New Zealand website at


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