HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Friday, August 19, 2005

Eating Chips and Breast Cancer

Harvard has released a new study showing that children's consumption of certain trans fatty foods, such as chips, at an early age may increase the risk of breast cancer later in life.   The TImes UK reports,

Eating chips as a young child may increase the risk of contracting breast cancer as an adult, research in America has claimed.

Thanks to the Huffington Post for this link. bm]

Researchers at the Harvard Medical School say that for every portion of chips eaten per week in the pre-school years, the risk of breast cancer is increased. The data comes from a long-running study into the health of 80,000 nurses who have been followed for decades by a team from the research institute. The Nurses’ Health Study has already produced many links between diet and disease, some disproved by further and better research.

The latest paper, in the International Journal of Cancer, used data from 582 women with breast cancer and 1,569 women without the disease in 1993.

The researchers looked at the diets of the women when they were aged between 3 and 5, using information from their mothers, who were asked how often their daughters ate or drank various products.

The risk of getting breast cancer by the age of 60 is about one in 25. Karin Michels and colleagues estimated that eating chips just once a week before the age of 5 would raise that to about one in 20 — an increase in risk of 27 per cent.

The team said that while eating potatoes was not associated with increased risk, the preparation of French fries — frying in fat high in saturated fats and trans-fatty acids — may be of relevance.

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