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Food choices matter in weight control

Potatoes, sugary soft drinks among biggest sources of added pounds

If there was ever any suggestion that French fries are good for you, it’s now dispelled in stark detail. An analysis of data from three lengthy surveys that assigns actual pounds of weight gain to foods finds that fries, sodas and several other guilty pleasures are among the most potent waist expanders.

On the bright side, researchers attribute weight loss to eating yogurt, fruit, nuts and vegetables. The report appears in the June 23 New England Journal of Medicine.

“Conventional wisdom often recommends ‘everything in moderation’ with a focus only on total calories consumed, rather than the quality of what is consumed,” says study coauthor Dariush Mozaffarian, a cardiologist at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “Our results demonstrate that the quality of the diet — the types of foods and beverages that one consumes — are strongly linked to weight gain.”

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