Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2000 May;54(5):443-9.

Nutritional intakes of vegetarian populations in France.

Author information

  • 1Institut National Agronomique Paris-Grignon, Laboratoire de Biologie et Nutrition Humaine, 16 rue Claude Bernard 75005 Paris, France.



To assess food behaviour and determine nutritional intakes of various vegetarian populations in France.


A five-day self-administered food record which was mailed to members of the three principal French vegetarian organisations.


145 subjects, aged 7-87 y; 94 classical vegetarians (19% of those contacted), 34 Hindu lactovegetarians (17% of those contacted) and 17 macrobiotic (34% of those contacted).


The survey was conducted between March 1997 and July 1997 in France.


Vegetarianism in France is represented by three main classes of food behaviour: ovolactovegetarian (AAV), lactovegetarian (KRI) and macrobiotic (MMK). The geometric mean intakes ranged from 1952 kcal/d (KRI), 2051 kcal/d (MMK) to 2384 kcal/d (AAV) for males and from 1302 kcal/d (MMK), 1675 kcal/d (AAV) to 1804 kcal/d (KRI) for females, after adjusting for age and BMI. The energy consumption in the MMK group was significantly lower than that in the AAV (P<0.05) and KRI groups (P<0.01), respectively. A difference among groups was observed for females (P=0.0002), but not for males. The MMK group consumed less lipid than the other two vegetarian groups, 46 g/d for men and 38 g/d for women vs 80 g/d for men and 61 g/d for women in the AAV group and 93 g/d for men and 81 g/d for women in the KRI group, respectively. Differences with AAV and MMK were statistically significant (P<0.001 for men and women for both groups). Mean protein consumption ranged from 60 g/d (AAV), 64 g/d (KRI) to 77 g/d (MMK) for males and from 46 g/d (MMK), 50 g/d (AAV) to 58 g/d (KRI) for females. Mean carbohydrate intakes ranged from 247 g/d (AAV), 321 g/d (KRI) to 338 g/d (MMK) in males and from 209 g/d (MMK), 228 g/d (AAV) to 242 g/d (KRI) in females. There were no significant differences in protein and carbohydrate intakes between the groups. Median calcium intakes ranged from 758.2 mg/d (MMK), 863 mg/d (AAV) to 989.3 mg/d (KRI) for the men and from 500.8 mg/d (MMK), 863 mg/d (AAV) to 934 mg/d (KRI) for the women. In the men, there was no differences in daily calcium intakes between the three vegetarian groups. However, we found a significant difference for women (P=0. 0041). The women in the MMK group presented significantly lower daily calcium intakes than the women in the AAV (P=0.013) and KRI (P=0.0032) groups. The AAV and KRI groups consumed dairy products supplying respectively 36% and 53% for the men and 39% and 59% for the women of total calcium against 0% for men and women in the MMK group. Median iron intakes ranged between 12.5 mg/d (KRI), 13.2 mg/d (AAV) and 22.5 mg/d (MMK) for the men and between 11.2 mg/d (KRI), 14.6 mg/d (AAV) and 16.9 mg/d (MMK) for the women. MMK (men P=0.0172 and women P=0.0131) and AAV (only in men P=0.037) groups consumed significantly higher quantities of iron than did the KRI group. The heme iron median intake in males and females of the three vegetarian groups was very low (<0.5%). Overall, the female vegetarians consumed 58.1 (MMK), 109 (AAV) and 127.4 (KRI) mg of vitamin C per day and the males 76.3 (MMK), 150.4 (AAV) and 150.4 (KRI) mg per day. Median vitamin B9 intakes ranged from 247.5 microg/d (KRI), 312 microg/d (MMK) to 390.4 microg/d (AAV) for the men and from 188.3 microg/d (MMK), 266.9 microg/d (KRI) to 323.8 microg/d (AAV) for the women. Vitamin B12 consumption ranged from 0.2 microg/d (MMK), 1.5 microg/d (AAV) to 1.7 microg/d (KRI) in the women and from 0.6 microg/d (MMK) to 1.0 microg/d (AAV and KRI) in the men. No differences in consumption were observed in the males. On the other hand, the women in the MMK group consumed significantly less vitamin C and B12 than did the women in the AAV (P=0.0006) and KRI (P=0. 0396) groups, while it was at the limit of significance for the females (P=0.0715) for vitamin B9.


Our results suggest that vegetarians have a better understanding of dietary requirements than does the general population. (ABSTRACT TRUNCATED)

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center