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Good Housekeeping
Pia Garcia, Contributor
 
June 27, 2011

New Study: Potato chips are the major cause of weight gain in people

This junk food indulgence is a bigger diet buster than candy, soda, or ice cream. By Pia Garcia
potato_chips_inside.jpgA new study published by The New England Journal of Medicine identifies potato chips as the biggest dietary no-no, putting it ahead of other sinful treats like ice cream, candy, and soda.

The study, reports CBSNews.com, singles out potato chips as "the biggest dietary offender": A daily serving of one ounce (about 15 chips at around 160 calories per serving) adds up to a weight gain of 1.69-lbs over four years. Sweets and desserts add up to .41 lbs.

The research adds that "what we eat and how much we consume has far more impact than exercise and most other habits do on long-term weight gain." This is especially significant when it comes to potato chips because, according to Dr. F. Xavier Pi-Sunyer, an obesity expert at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Center in New York, "They're very tasty and they have a very good texture. People generally don't take one or two chips. They have the whole bag."

The results were gathered over a course of 20 years and by observing the diet and lifestyle habits of 120,877 people who participated in three long-running medical studies.

Apart from the potato chip findings, the study also indicates that food choices play a critical role in weight gain or loss. People are encouraged to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts and warned to cut back on potatoes, red meat, sweets, and soda.

Dr. Frank Hu, one of the leaders of the study added, "There is no magic bullet for weight control. Diet and exercise are important for preventing weight gain, but diet clearly plays a bigger role."

Read these other articles for more health advice:

(Photo by kwocky via Flickr Creative Commons)


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