Dietary intakes and lifestyle factors of a vegan population in Germany: results from the German Vegan Study.

Author(s): 

Waldmann A, Koschizke JW, Leitzmann C, Hahn A.

Year Published: 

2003

Journal: 

Eur J Clin Nutr.

Category: 

Study Design: 

Link to Full Article Free Online: 

Abstract: 

OBJECTIVE:Evaluation of dietary intakes and lifestyle factors of German vegans. DESIGN:Cross-sectional study. SETTINGS:Germany. SUBJECTS:Subjects were recruited through journal advertisements. Of 868 volunteers, only 154 participated in all study segments (pre- and main questionnaire, two 9-day food frequency questionnaires, blood sampling) and fulfilled the following study criteria: vegan dietary intake at least 1 year prior to study start, minimum age of 18 y, no pregnancy or childbirth during the last 12 months. INTERVENTIONS:No interventions. RESULTS:All the 154 subjects had a comparatively low BMI (median 21.2 kg/m(2)), with an extremely low mean consumption of alcohol (0.77+/-3.14 g/day) and tobacco (96.8% were nonsmokers). Mean energy intake (total collective: 8.23+/-2.77 MJ) was higher in strict vegans than in moderate ones. Mean carbohydrate, fat, and protein intakes in proportion to energy (total collective: 57.1:29.7:11.6%) agreed with current recommendations. Recommended intakes for vitamins and minerals were attained through diet, except for calcium (median intake: 81.1% of recommendation), iodine (median: 40.6%), and cobalamin (median: 8.8%). For the male subgroup, the intake of a small amount of food of animal origin improved vitamin and mineral nutrient densities (except for zinc), whereas this was not the case for the female subgroup (except for calcium). CONCLUSION:In order to reach favourable vitamin and mineral intakes, vegans should consider taking supplements containing riboflavin, cobalamin, calcium, and iodine. Intake of total energy and protein should also be improved.