Jessie from Warnambool, Victoria, Australia asked:

Can eating snack foods like potato chips give you cancer?

Potato chips and cancer

All through school we were told that eating snack foods, such as potato chips, could cause cancer. Any truth there?

Our answer

Eating a packet of potato chips isn’t going to give you cancer. However, regularly eating foods high in fat and sugar that expand your waistline can increase your risk of cancer. In general, eating a healthy, balanced diet helps reduce your risk of developing cancer, while a poor diet can increase your cancer risk. Cancers associated with diet are most commonly found in the digestive tract, including the oesophagus, stomach and bowel. Improving your diet can be as simple as trying to eat more:

As obesity is a known risk factor for cancer of the bowel, breast (in post-menopausal women), endometrium, kidney and oesophagus, a balanced diet along with regular exercise may also protect against cancer by helping to maintain a healthy body weight.

This page was last updated on: June 24, 2014
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