Industry Gets Good News On Nutrition

Published online: Jan 17, 2005
Viewed 929 time(s)
Web Exclusive
It won't make headlines in U.S. papers and most consumers probably won't get the news but the United States Potato Board, working with the National Potato Council, pulled off a stunning upset.

That may not be the right nomenclature for potato growers in a fight over the low-carb craze, but it is a big victory for the entire potato industy. The two organizations, through hard, tedious work, got the scientific community to take a second look at the potato for its nutritional attributes and got a good report.

According to the USPB, the just-released USDA/Health and Human Services Dietary Guidelines for Americans this year, potatoes will fit just fine in a balanced nutritonal diet.
The Guidlines established are the result of extensive scientific review by an elite group of scientists working with the USDA and HHS. According to the USPB, because they are the basis of all federal policy concerning nutrition, the USPB and NPC participated fully in the process.

"They, along with nutrition consultants, attended all meetings of the Scientific Advisory Committee and submitted written and oral testimony," Ann Vorthman, director, Industry Outreach, of the USPB, said.

"Prepared by Katherine Beals, Ph.D., R.D., and Margo Kraus, R.D., industry testimony documented the excellent nutritional profile of potatoes and their importance in the American diet. All tsetimony was backed by solid scientific research," she continued.

Highlights from the Guidelines' recommendations that are good news for potatoes:
--They place a strong emphasis on calorie control and physical acitivity.
--Under Food Groups to encourage, the Guidelines say, "Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables each day. In particular, select from all five vegetable sub- groups (dark green, orange, legumes, starchy vegetables, and others) several times a week."
--Under carbohydrates is, "Choose fiber-rich fruits, vegetables and whole grains often."
--Under sodium and potassium is, "Consume potassium-rich foods, such as fruits and vegatables."

The USBP has sent a release to consumer media citing easy ways to follow the guidelines with potatoes. The Board has also joined a coalition of food groups in sending a release stating support for the Guidelines.