Couch potatoes

Potato chips make you fat

Potato chips have long been stereotyped as the snack that puts on the pounds, and according to a new study, that may be for good reason.

A major diet study conducted by Harvard University scientists found that potato chips are the biggest offender when it comes to packing on pounds over the years. The study, which analyzed changes in diet and lifestyle in more than 120,000 people, found that habitually eating potato chips caused more weight gain over time than alcohol consumption, laziness, and even soda and candy habits. The chips added an average of 1.69 pounds over four years, whereas soda only added a pound, for example.

The findings likely can be attributed to the “you can’t eat just one” effect, coupled with chips’ high fat content. Researchers concluded weight gain can be prevented with better food choices—more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and less red meat, potatoes and sweets.