Research Category: Life Stages

The Effects of Potato Presentation on Vegetable Intake in School-Aged Children: A Cross-Over Study


Vegetables are an essential component of a healthy dietary pattern in children; however, their consumption is often insufficient due to lack of preference. To address this, the influence of combining vegetables (mixed peas and carrots—MPACs) with potatoes, a generally liked food, on overall vegetable consumption among children aged 7–13 years was explored. The research involved a cross-over study design with 65 participants who completed five lunchtime meal conditions, each with different combinations of MPACs and potatoes versus a control (MPACs with a wheat roll). The meals were provided in a cafeteria setting, and plate waste was used to measure vegetable consumption. Anthropometric data and other variables were also measured. Notably, self-reported hunger did not significantly differ between conditions. Meal condition was a significant predictor of MPACs (F = 5.20; p = 0.0005), with MPAC consumption highest when combined with shaped potato faces in the same bowl (+8.77 g compared to serving MPACs and shaped potato faces in separate bowls) and lowest when combined with diced potatoes in the same bowl (−2.85 g compared to serving MPACs and diced potatoes in separate bowls). The overall model for MPAC consumption was influenced by age, height z-score, body fat percentage z-score, and condition (likelihood ratio = 49.1; p < 0.0001). Age had the strongest correlation with vegetable consumption (r = 0.38), followed by male gender, height z-score (r = 0.30), and body fat z-score (r = −0.15). The results highlight the positive impact of combining potatoes with vegetables in school meals, particularly when using shaped potato faces. These findings emphasize the potential of potatoes as a valuable vegetable option in promoting healthier eating habits among children. Additionally, future research could explore the impact of different potato combinations and investigate other factors influencing meal consumption in school settings.

Potato Consumption is not Associated With Elevated Cardiometabolic Risk in Adolescent Girls

We examined the association between potato consumption in two different age periods during adolescence and risk of obesity and cardiometabolic dysfunction in White and Black girls. We used data from the biracial prospective National Growth and Health Study. Average potato consumption was derived from multiple 3-d food records in two age periods, 9–11 and 9–17 years, and included white and sweet potatoes from all sources. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to estimate OR for becoming overweight, developing prehypertension, elevated TAG levels or impaired fasting glucose (IFG) at 18–20 years of age according to the category of daily potato intake. We also stratified by cooking method (fried/non-fried) and race. ANCOVA was also used to estimate adjusted mean levels of BMI, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, log-transformed TAG, the TAG:HDL ratio and fasting glucose levels associated with potato intake category. Higher potato consumption was associated with higher fruit and non-starchy vegetable intakes and higher Healthy Eating Index scores in Black girls. There were no statistically significant associations overall between moderate or higher (v. lower) intakes of potatoes and risks of overweight, prehypertension, elevated fasting TAG, high TAG:HDL ratio or IFG. Also, no adverse associations were found between fried or non-fried potato intake and cardiometabolic outcomes. Potato consumption has been the subject of much controversy in recent years. This study adds evidence that potato consumption among healthy girls during the critical period of adolescence was not associated with cardiometabolic risk.

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

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.

Effects of White Potatoes Consumed With Eggs on Satiety, Food Intake, and Glycemic Response in Children and Adolescents

Objective: Short-term studies in adults have shown that white potatoes increase satiety and suppress food intake (FI) compared with several other carbohydrate-containing foods; however, studies are limited in children. The objective was to compare the effects of white potatoes in mixed meals on satiety, FI, and glycemic response in 9-14-year-old children and adolescents. Methods: Using a within-subject, repeated-measures design, 21 children completed five counter-balanced test sessions. After an overnight fast, children consumed one of four isocaloric treatment meals (450 kcal) of French fries, mashed potatoes, or white beans served with a fixed portion of egg omelet (30 g of protein), a control meal with cereal, milk, and bread, or continued to fast (i.e., meal skipping). Subjective appetite was measured using visual analogue scales. FI at an ad libitum pizza meal at 180 min and rest of day diet record were used to measure lunch FI and rest of day energy intake, respectively. Total daily energy intake was calculated by adding the energy intake from the treatment meal, the ad libitum pizza lunch, and rest of day food record. Capillary blood samples were collected to assess glycemic response over 180 min. Results: Change from baseline subjective average appetite scores were lower after mashed potatoes compared with all other treatment conditions (p < 0.001), and higher after French fries compared with white beans (p = 0.04). Lunch FI (kcal) was significantly lower (p < 0.001) after French fries (1010±73) and mashed potatoes (1039±74) compared with the control meal (1257±92) and meal skipping (1235±74). Total daily energy intake (kcal) was lower after French fries compared with the control meal (2228±141 vs. 2624±137; p = 0.04). Change from baseline blood glucose was lower after white beans and French fries compared with mashed potatoes (p < 0.05) and the control meal (p < 0.001). Conclusion: In conclusion, white potatoes with eggs increased satiety, decreased short-term FI, and resulted in similar energy intakes compared with meal skipping.

Contributions of White Vegetables to Nutrient Intake: NHANES 2009–2010

Vegetables, especially white potatoes, provide significant levels of key nutrients of concern, such as potassium and dietary fiber. Per capita availability (PCA) data for vegetables—often used as a proxy for vegetable consumption—show that vegetable consumption, including consumption of white potatoes, declined in the past decade. Using dietary data for participants in the NHANES 2009–2010, we examined total vegetable, white potato, and French-fried potato consumption among all age-gender groups as well as mean energy, potassium, and dietary fiber intakes. Mean total energy intake for the US population (≥2 y old) was 2080 kcal/d, with white potatoes and French-fried potatoes providing ∼4% and ∼2% of total energy, respectively. Individuals who consumed white potatoes had significantly higher total vegetable and potassium intakes than did nonconsumers. In addition, the proportion of potassium and dietary fiber contributed by white potatoes was higher than the proportion that they contributed to total energy. Among white potato consumers aged 14–18 y, white potatoes provided ∼23% of dietary fiber and ∼20% of potassium but only ∼11% of total energy in the diet. The nutrient-dense white potato may be an effective way to increase total vegetable consumption and potassium and dietary fiber intake.

White Vegetables: A Forgotten Source of Nutrients: Purdue Roundtable Executive Summary

Purdue University convened a scientific roundtable, “White Vegetables: A Forgotten Source of Nutrients,” in Chicago, IL, June 18–19, 2012, to bring together experts to address the contributions of white vegetables, including potatoes, as sources of key nutrients and other microconstituents within a dietary pattern supporting health and wellness. This paper summarizes the meeting and supplement papers, including discussion among participants. The group of researchers identified areas of ambiguity regarding classification of vegetables for research and dietary guidance, future research needs, and the imperative to draw on that research to enhance evidence-based dietary guidance about white vegetables, including potatoes. U.S. dietary guidance encourages consumption of a variety of fruits and vegetables, including at least 1 serving of a dark green and 1 orange vegetable daily. However, no such recommendation exists for white vegetables, such as potatoes, cauliflowers, turnips, onions, parsnips, mushrooms, corn, and kohlrabi. Vegetable subgrouping approaches need to be considered in the context of nutrients of concern and low fruits and vegetable consumption. This Roundtable and supplement provide a substantial body of evidence to demonstrate how the inclusion of white vegetables, such as potatoes, can increase shortfall nutrients, notably fiber, potassium, and magnesium, as well as help increase overall vegetable consumption among children, teens, and adults in the United States. In so doing, these increases can help consumers to effectively and economically meet the recommended 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans vegetable servings and improve nutrient intake for all age and sex categories. Although inclusion of many types of vegetables in the diet improves nutritional adequacy, a priority public health message is to increase vegetable consumption. Potatoes appear to be a pathway to increased vegetable consumption, thereby helping to meet the recommended 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans servings for vegetables provided the forms served limit the amount of added salt and fat. Potatoes, in all forms, when consumed in MyPlate serving sizes, can be part of health-promoting dietary patterns. More research is needed to determine the health contributions of white vegetables as a source of nutrients and bioactive constituents and their bioavailability beyond the isolated components.

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

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.