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I'm Skinny, So Does It Matter What I Eat?

I crave unhealthy food such as chips, French fries, candy, and ice cream. But I'm skinny, so does it matter if I eat these? Will it make me fat when I grow up?
- Mina*

The foods you mention can cause problems if you eat them regularly. First, they are high in fat. So even if you're skinny, eating a lot of these foods can be bad for your health.

Another problem to watch out for is when these foods replace healthier ones in your diet. If you fill up on French fries and ice cream, you may be less likely to eat vegetables and fruit. So your body could be missing out on the nutrition it needs to grow and develop.

Will these foods make you fat later in life? They might. It all depends on how much you eat and the genes you inherit from your family. But one thing is for sure — eating too much of these foods over time can affect your health.

That doesn't mean you must never eat these favorites, though. Just have them as occasional treats. Set limits and plan when you'll eat them. For example, tell yourself you'll only eat French fries once a week or that ice cream will be a party-only treat. Then take the smallest size possible. You'll probably find that these foods taste even better when you're not eating them all the time. And you may notice you have more energy and staying power if you're eating healthier foods instead.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: October 2014

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.