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Intake of potatoes is associated with higher diet quality, and improved nutrient intake and adequacy among US adolescents: NHANES 2001-2018 analysis

Sanjiv Agarwal, PhD, NutriScience, LLC ; Victor L. Fulgoni, III, PhD, Nutrition Impact, LLC


Potatoes are nutrient rich white vegetables, however, research on their impact on public
health is limited. The objective of this study was to provide updated evaluation of the cross-sectional
association between potato consumption and diet quality, nutrient intake and adequacy. Twenty-four
hour diet recall data from adolescents (n = 16,633; age 9–18 years) were used to assess intakes. Usual
intakes of nutrients were determined using the National Cancer Institute method and diet quality
was calculated using the Healthy Eating Index-2015 (HEI-2015) after adjusting for demographic
factors. Consumers of potatoes (baked or boiled potatoes, mashed potatoes and potato mixtures,
fried potatoes, and potato chips) had higher (p < 0.05) HEI-2015 total score and subcomponent
scores for total vegetables, total protein foods, and refined grain than non-consumers. Consumers
also had higher (p < 0.05) intake of energy, dietary fiber, protein, copper, magnesium, phosphorus,
potassium, selenium, sodium, zinc, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K and total choline; and
higher (p < 0.05) adequacy for protein, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, thiamine,
niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and vitamin K than non-consumers. In conclusion, adolescent potato
consumption was associated with higher diet quality, nutrient intake, and adequacy and therefore
encouraging their consumption may be an effective strategy for improving nutritional status.

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  1. Agarwal, S.; Fulgoni, V.L., III. Intake of Potatoes Is Associated with Higher Diet Quality, and Improved Nutrient Intake and Adequacy among US Adolescents: NHANES 2001–2018 Analysis. Nutrients 2021, 13, 2614.
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