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March 7, 2019

Effects of Potatoes and Other Carbohydrate-Containing Foods on Cognitive Performance, Glycemic Response, and Satiety in Children

Jennifer J. Lee, Neil R. Brett, PhD, Vincent C.H. Wong, Julia O. Totosy de Zepetnek, PhD, Alexandra J. Fiocco, PhD, Nick Bellissimo, PhD

Abstract

Dietary carbohydrates have been shown to influence cognitive performance and satiety in children. However, it remains unclear whether the carbohydrate source is a primary determinant of cognitive performance and satiety. The objective was to compare the effects of white potatoes and other carbohydrate-containing foods on cognitive performance, glycemic response, and satiety in children. On six separate mornings, in random order, children (n=22) consumed 50 g of available carbohydrates from microwaved mashed potatoes (prepared from fresh potatoes then frozen), deep-fried potato strips (French fries), hash browns, white rice, white beans, or skipped a meal. Cognitive performance, glycemic response and satiety were measured over 180 min. Cognitive performance was measured using a battery of tests assessing verbal declarative memory, spatial memory, short-term memory, working memory, and information processing speed. Although cognitive performance after the treatment meals did not differ from meal skipping, children recalled more words after French fries (9.1±0.4 words) compared with mashed potatoes (8.2±0.3 words; p<0.001) and white rice (8.4±0.3 words; p=0.04) on the verbal declarative memory test. Blood glucose concentrations were higher after white rice compared with white beans, mashed potatoes, and hash browns (p<0.05). Change from baseline subjective average appetite (mm/kcal) was lowest after mashed potatoes compared with all other treatment meals (p<0.05). In conclusion, verbal declarative memory was higher after French fries and subjective average appetite was lowest after mashed potatoes. Future longitudinal studies are needed to confirm these short-term findings and to elucidate the mechanism of action.

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References

  1. Lee. J. J., Brett, N. R., Wong, V. C., Zepetnek, J. O., Fiocco, A. J., & Bellissimo, N. Effects of Potatoes and Other Carbohydrate-Containing Foods on Cognitive Performance, Glycemic Response, and Satiety in Children. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2019.
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