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APRE Research Highlights Potato as Important Source of Dietary Fiber

Actual consumption by Americans as a percentage of goal (2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans)

Actual consumption by Americans as a percentage of goal (2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans)

October 11, 2014
By contributing approximately 7% of dietary fiber to the U.S. food supply, new research from APRE found that white potatoes are an importance source of this nutrient for Americans.

With or without the skin and regardless of cooking method, the dietary fiber content of white potatoes compares favorably to that of other vegetables. Improved gastrointestinal health and many other health benefits have been attributed to higher levels of dietary fiber consumption.

However, less than 3% of all males and females in the United States consume sufficient amounts of this critical nutrient. Because of this population-wide shortfall, dietary fiber has been identified as one of the four nutrients of concern in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Lead author Maureen Storey, President and CEO of APRE (Alliance for Potato Research and Education), and colleague Patricia Anderson compared mean dietary fiber intakes among children and adolescents (2-19 years) and adults (20+ years) across sex, age, race/ethnicity, family income, and percentage of poverty threshold using data from the 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). They found that consumption of dietary fiber was far below recommended intake levels for all age groups, with mean intakes of 13.7 g/day among children and adolescents and 17.1 g/day among adults.

(Click to enlarge)

Dietary fiber in commonly consumed vegetables (Source: APRE)

Storey and Anderson also reported significant differences in dietary fiber intake among other population groups. Males aged 2-19 years (14.4 g/day) and 20+ years (18.7 g/day) consumed more dietary fiber than females aged 2-19 years (13.0 g/day) and 20+ years (15.6 g/day). Non-Hispanic black adults consumed less dietary fiber compared to all other race/ethnic groups. Lower family income (less than $24,999/year) and living at below 131% of poverty were also associated with lower dietary fiber intakes among adults. To increase dietary fiber intake in the United States, Storey and Anderson suggested that federal and local government policies should encourage consumption of all vegetables, including white potatoes.

Read the entire study (full text) at Nutrition Research.
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The Alliance for Potato Research and Education (APRE) is a not-for-profit organization 100% dedicated to expanding and translating scientific research into evidence-based policy and education initiatives that recognize the role of all forms of the potato—a nutritious vegetable—in promoting health for all age groups.