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Eur J Nutr. 2001 Apr;40(2):49-55.

Changes in time-trends of nutrient intake from fortified and non-fortified food in German children and adolescents--15 year results of the DONALD study. Dortmund Nutritional and Anthropometric Longitudinally Designed Study.

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  • 1Forschungsinstitut für Kinderernährung Dortmund (FKE), Germany.



Although fortified products have played an increasing role in food marketing since the 1980s in Germany, data as to the consumption of fortified food is sparse.


To assess long-term data on changes in fortified food supply or consumption patterns, nutrient intake, and time trends in the DONALD Study (Dortmund Nutritional and Anthropometric Longitudinally Designed Study).


Between 1985 and 2000 consumption of nutrient intake (total and from fortified foods) was evaluated and time trends in energy and nutrient intake were assessed on the basis of 3-day weighed dietary records (n = 4193) of 2-14 year-old males (n = 383) and females (n = 404) enrolled in the DONALD Study. Nutrient intake was expressed as percentage of the current German recommendations. Food products were defined as fortified if enriched with at least one of the following nutrients: Vitamin A or provitamin A carotenoids (summarised as Vitamin A), Vitamins E, B1, B2, B6, C, niacin, folate, calcium or iron. Nutrient supplements and medicine were excluded from this evaluation. Time trends were analysed using linear and non-linear regression models (PROC MIXED, SAS 6.12).


In percent of German references [3], non-fortified food contributed to folate intake by 20-30%, to Vitamin E by about 40%, to Vitamin B1 by 50-65%, to Vitamin A, C, B2, calcium, iron by about 65-95%, and to Vitamin B6 and niacin intake by 100% and more. Fortified food alone provided no more than 5% of calcium intake, about 10-20% of iron, Vitamin A and folate intake, up to 40-50% of Vitamin C, B1, B2, E, niacin and up to 80% of Vitamin B6 intake. During the 15 year period of the DONALD Study with total food, we only found a significant linear time trend for Vitamin C, whereas significant non-linear time trends were found for calcium, Vitamin E, B1, B2, B6, niacin and folate. In the latter there was a uniform increase until 1994 and a decrease thereafter. For iron and Vitamin A no significant time trend could be identified. Only iron and Vitamin A intake from fortified food showed a significant linear time trend. All other nutrients studied here gave significant non-linear time trends. Nutrient intake with fortified food reached maximum values between 1994 and 1996 followed by a decrease thereafter.


Signs of changing food consumption patterns were found, pointing to an almost uniform decrease of nutrient intake since 1994/96 in our population of German children and adolescents. This could be an alarming indicator of a slight but unpreferable tendency to eat energydense, nutrient-poor foods.

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