What characterises women who eat potatoes? A cross-sectional study among 74,208 women in the Norwegian Women and Cancer cohort
Background: Studies of potato consumption have shown that age, region, socioeconomic status, and household structure are important determinants.
Objective: This study aims to map which factors influence potato consumption among women in the Norwegian Women and Cancer (NOWAC) study.
Design: A cross-sectional study using a postal questionnaire among 74,208 NOWAC participants aged 41–70.
Results: Results showed that 56% of the women ate at least two potatoes a day. A north–south gradient in potato consumption was observed in logistic regression models (OR: 3.41, 95% CI: 3.19–3.64 for the north compared to the capital). Women in households with children had lower odds of high potato consumption than women living only with a partner, and women who lived alone had the lowest odds of all (OR: 0.39, 95% CI: 0.37–0.41). Smokers had higher odds of high potato consumption, while diabetics had lower odds. The odds of high potato consumption were greater among older women, and among those with lower income and education. In a sub-cohort, women who were dieting had lower odds of high potato consumption. Consumption of different foods varied in the low versus the high potato consumption group, with largest effect for fish and pasta/rice. The groups had similar nutrient densities.
Conclusions: In addition to lifestyle and socioeconomic factors, health-related factors like smoking and diabetes were found to influence potato consumption. The high potato consumption group had an especially high consumption of fish and a low consumption of pasta/rice, though the nutrient density in the groups was similar.