Removing Potatoes from Children's Diets May Compromise Potassium Intake

Adv Nutr. 2016 Jan 15;7(1):247S-253S. doi: 10.3945/an.115.008680. Print 2016 Jan.


White potatoes are a forgotten source of nutrients. The goal of this study was to identify the nutritional implications of replacing a composite of white potatoes with a composite of vegetables commonly consumed by children aged 2-18 y (n = 3460) in a nationally representative sample. The NHANES 2005-2012 24-h dietary recall data were used to determine nutrient intake. Two replacement models were developed: one for potato consumers and another for those consuming vegetables other than potatoes. Analyses focused on 1) mean nutrient contributions per 1 cup equivalent vegetable composite (VC)/potato composite (PC) consumed by participants, and 2) mean daily nutrient intake when the nutrients per 1 cup equivalent PC replaced the nutrients per 1 cup equivalent VC. Covariate adjusted analysis was tested for statistical significance (P < 0.002). When 1 cup equivalent VC replaced 1 cup equivalent PC, significantly lower mean intakes were found for 20 of the 23 nutrients studied and higher mean intakes of total sugars, folate, and calcium. Differences were found including higher total intakes of monounsaturated fatty acids and potassium and lower total intakes of vitamins A and K. The percentage contribution of the PC to total daily nutrient intake was 6% for total energy, 8% for total fat, 5% for saturated fatty acids, 13% for dietary fiber, 4% for sodium, and 11% for potassium. Both composites contributed a variety of nutrients to the total diet; the consumption of white potatoes may be an important strategy to help meet the potassium recommendation.

Keywords: NHANES; fiber; nutrients; potassium; potatoes; statistical modeling; vegetables.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diet*
  • Energy Intake
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Micronutrients / administration & dosage*
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Nutritive Value*
  • Potassium / administration & dosage*
  • Solanum tuberosum / chemistry*
  • Vegetables / chemistry*


  • Micronutrients
  • Potassium