Dietary intakes and lifestyle factors of a vegan population in Germany: Results from the German vegan study

A. Waldmann, J. W. Koschizke, C. Leitzmann, A. Hahn

77 Citations (Scopus)


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/m2), 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±2.77MJ) 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.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)947-955
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 01.08.2003

Research Areas and Centers

  • Research Area: Center for Population Medicine and Public Health (ZBV)

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 205-02 Public Health, Health Services Research and Social Medicine
  • 205-05 Nutritional Science, Nutritional Medicine


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