20130213 - Nutritional balance of potato chips (descriptive statistics) (2e) - 2012

[Data] [<Normal page] [PEREZGONZALEZ Jose D (2012). Nutritional balance of potato chips (descriptive statistics) (2e)5. Knowledge (ISSN 2324-1624), 2013, pages 41-44.] [DOI]

BNI of potato chips (description)

Perezgonzalez assessed the nutritional balance of potato chips6 in 20122, as part of a research on the nutritional composition of snacks in New Zealand. This article provides descriptive information both about the sample of products under research (foodBNI) as well as about a hypothetical diet based on those products (dietBNI).


The distribution of nutritional balance, as shown in illustration 1, clustered between BNI 80 (P16) and BNI 98 (P84), with the median located at BNI 82.65. There was also a perceptible skewness towards higher levels of unbalance (mean=BNI 86.50, zSkew=3.39).

This distribution of nutritional balance was identical under WHO's recommended dietary intakes (RDIs), but less unbalanced under US', Australia's or UK's RDIs. The overall shape of all distributions was quite similar among the different sets of RDIs, though.

Illustration 1: Food's nutritional balance distribution
International RDIs
≥50 3 3 3
≥60 1 1 24 24 24
≥70 12 12 22 22 22
≥80 32 32 9 9 9
≥90 10 10 5 5 5
≥100 6 6
≥110 2 2
Median 82.65 82.65 70.61 70.61 70.61
SPR 9.33 9.33 7.09 7.09 7.09
P16 79.71 79.71 68.60 68.60 68.60
P84 98.37 98.37 82.78 82.78 82.78
RSkew 6.39 6.39 5.08 5.08 5.08
Mean 86.50 86.50 73.43 73.43 73.43
StDev 10.46 10.46 8.77 8.77 8.77
zSkew 3.39 3.39 2.62 2.62 2.62
zKurt 0.97 0.97 1.43 1.43 1.43
Unstandardized small medium large ( Avg.StDev )
effect size7 2 5 8 ( 9 )

Correlations between indexes were high, thus supporting the idea of a common pattern in the distribution of nutritional balance across international indexes for this particular group of products.

Illustration 2: Correlations (Pearson and Spearman)
BNI 1.000 .891 .891 .891
WHO 1.000 .891 .891 .891
US/CAN .983 .983 1.000 1.000
AUS/NZ .983 .983 1.000 1.000
UK .983 .983 1.000 1.000


As part of a hypothetical diet where all products contributed the same weight of chips, the resulting nutritional unbalance would improve slightly for most indexes (about 2 units on the scale, when fiber is not estimated). This diet may, however, be less unbalanced than initially described when including an estimated amount of fiber into the equation in order to compensate for those products which did not provide such information. Although the resulting diet would still be extremely unbalanced (when attending to the unstandardized effect size for this group), such diet will "benefit" most under the US, AUS and, especially, the UK indexes.

Illustration 3: Diet's nutritional balance (potato chips)
Protein Carbs Sugar Fat Sat.fat Fiber Sodium
5.9 50.6 1.7 32.5 11.9 4.4* 0.369
(diet, fiber unest.) 84.78 84.78 70.61 70.61 70.61
(diet, fiber est.*) 70.12 67.18 56.64 57.27 46.16
(Values per 100g; *fiber content estimated from USDA database4)


Research approach

Exploratory study mapping the nutritional balance of potato chips6 in New Zealand.


Stratified sample of 63 potato chip products2, including generic and proprietary brands, diverse flavors and other relevant categories. Notwithstanding this, the actual products were collected in a convenient manner from four major national supermarket chains. The final sample covered a large proportion of the population of potato chip products available at such supermarkets.


Variables of interest for this research were the following:

  • Weight contribution of seven nutrients (protein, carbohydrate, sugar, fat, saturated fat, fiber and sodium) to 100g of a food product.
  • The Balanced Nutrition Index (BNI) of each food product, as calculated from above variables.
  • Aggregated information for the sample of products (foodBNI).
  • Aggregated information about the individual nutrients for the simulation of hypothetical diets (dietBNI).

Materials & analysis

Relevant data were collated after purchasing the food products or by capturing such information from producers' websites if this information was available and was deemed reliable. The data were then assessed using the Balanced Nutrition Index™ (BNI™) technology (see Perezgonzalez, 20111). Missing data for fiber was estimated for the aggregated variable dietBNI from USDA's database (20114).

SPSS-v18 was used for the computation of variables, including BNI and international indexes, and for descriptive statistical analyses.

1. PEREZGONZALEZ Jose D (2011). Balanced Nutrition Index™ (BNI™). Journal of Knowledge Advancement & Integration (ISSN 1177-4576), 2011, pages 20-21.
2. PEREZGONZALEZ Jose D (2012a). Tasty taytos. The Balanced Nutrition Index (ISSN 1177-8849), 2012, issue 5.
3. PEREZGONZALEZ Jose D (2012b). Nutritional balance of potato chips (descriptive statistics). Journal of Knowledge Advancement & Integration (ISSN 1177-4576), 2012, pages 244-246.
4. USDA (2011). Nutrient data for 19411, Snacks, potato chips, plain, salted. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, 2011, December 7.
+++ Notes +++
5. This second edition updates the previous one3 by standardizing the presentation of illustrations.
6. Thin slices of potatoes fried or baked until crisp, and with added seasoning and flavorings. They may also be known as potato crisps or potato wafers.
7. This is the estimated unstandardized effect size for group differences (Cohen's d and Glass's Δ) given an average standard deviation and following Cohen's d effect size interpretation. It can be used to ascertain the relative importance of descriptive data without the need to perform inferential tests.

Want to know more?

BNI analysis of individual products
You can access either the BNI™ database or the 'BNI™ journal (2012, issue 5) - Tasty taytos' for individual nutrition analyses of each food product in the sample.
Wiki of Science - Nutritional balance of potato chips (further knowledge)
Two Wiki of Science pages provide further introductory and inferential information about the nutritional balance of potato chips.

Outdated versions

PEREZGONZALEZ Jose D (2012b). Nutritional balance of potato chips (descriptive statistics). Journal of Knowledge Advancement & Integration (ISSN 1177-4576), 2012, pages 244-246.


Jose D PEREZGONZALEZ (2012). Massey University, Turitea Campus, Private Bag 11-222, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand. (JDPerezgonzalezJDPerezgonzalez).


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