Interest in plant-based diets has significantly increased in Germany during the last few years. Current studies describe potential beneficial effects of vegetarian or vegan diets in terms of chronic disease prevention. To date, only a small number of prospective cohort studies have investigated the health status of vegans and none has done so in continental Europe. The COPLANT study (Cohort Study on Plant-based Diets) aims to address this research gap.


The COPLANT study aims to compare

  • health benefits,
  • possible short-term and long-term risks,
  • social,
  • ecological and
  • economic effects

of different plant-based diets (pescetarian, vegetarian, and vegan) to an omnivorous diet. Furthermore, it is the aim of the investigators to formulate recommendations for a healthy and sustainable lifestyle based on the results that will be generated by the study.


Study design

During two study center visits, different examinations will be carried out, including anthropometric measurements (e.g., body weight and height, waist-to-hip ratio, body composition), measurement of bone density (using ultrasound), collection of fasting blood, 24-hour urine and stool samples. Dietary intake will be investigated using the NutriDiary app. Dietary behavior and physical activity will be assessed with questionnaires. If third party funding is successfully secured, study participants will be followed for at least 20 years and questionnaires will be sent out every 2 to 3 years in order to record changes in diet, lifestyle, and health status.


We are looking for study participants who fulfill the following inclusion criteria:

    • Individuals between 18 and 69 years old at the time of recruitment
    • BMI ≥ 18.5 kg/m²
    • People following the respective diet for at least one year
    • Availability of a mobile device to use an app for the dietary survey
    • No significant weight fluctuations (±10% of body weight) in the last 6 months
    • No acute or chronic infectious diseases
    • No presence of the following diseases within the last 10 years: myocardial infarction, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes

Study centers

There are eight study centers:

  1. Federal Institute for Risk Assessment(BfR), Berlin
  2. Research Institute for Plant-Based Nutrition(IFPE), Giessen
  3. FriedrichSchiller University, Jena
  4. Max Rubner-Institute(MRI), Karlsruhe
  5. Rheinische FriedrichWilhelms University, Bonn
  6. RuprechtKarls University, Heidelberg
  7. University of Regensburg
  8. Medical University of Vienna


Recruitment Recruitment has not started yet. If you are interested in participating, you are welcome to register in our study participant database.