Vitamin and mineral supply in Germany
This article critically scrutinises the interpretation of the results of a new assessment method of the German National Nutrition Survey II which give the impression the German population is well supplied with vitamins and minerals. A habitual diet, however, does not prevent from nutrient shortfalls of folate, calcium and iodine as well as iron in women which can be covered by food supplements. Furthermore, the intake of other nutrients in individual age groups is insufficient such as vitamin B12 in elderly people. Pregnant women, smokers and athletes, for example, belong to risk groups with an even worse nutrient supply. The risk of an oversupply of magnesium and vitamin A in people with good dietary habits using food supplements is also discussed. It must therefore be concluded that a targeted supplementation of the diet can be appropriate using individual nutrients provided an individualised assessment of nutrient supply.
The German National Nutrition Survey II (Nationale Verzehrsstudie II, NVS II) provides representative data of the vitamin and mineral supply in Germany. The 2012 Nutrition Report presents results of a new NVS II data assessment method (1). These results are usually presented in a summarised form giving the impression the German population is well supplied with vitamins and minerals.
This article critically scrutinises the interpretation of these assessment results, among other things the evaluation based on the statistical value ‘median’ and the resulting conclusions.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION ON THE NVS II ASSESSMENT
The nutrition survey determined the current food consumption by two 24-hours recalls. On two consecutive days 13,753 participants (men and women between 15 and 80 years of age) were surveyed in detail by telephone about their total food consumption of the last 24 hours. The nutrient intake was calculated on the basis of the current version of the German Nutrient Food Code and Data Base (Bundeslebensmittelschlüssel, BLS, version 3.02) (2). Afterwards, the detected nutrient intake of the ...