Duration: May 2017 to December 2020

Project partner: Fachhochschule des Mittelstands, DONALD-Study of the University Bonn, Communitiy hospital Herdecke, University Witten-Herdecke, Charité Universitätsmedizin und Immanuel Krankenhaus Berlin

Funding: German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, via German Nutrition Society (DGE)

Principal Investigators: Dr. Markus Keller, Dr. habil. Ute Alexy

Study design

To date, there is very little scientific data on vegetarian and vegan diets of children. The cross-sectional VeChi-Youth study therefore examined 401 children and adolescents aged 6-18 years. The main aim of the study was to compare anthropometric data, dietary behavior, nutrient intake and nutrient status, especially with regard to potentially critical nutrients, of children and adolescents on a vegan, vegetarian and omnivorous diet. The nutritional behavior was recorded using 3-day weighed dietary records, further data was collected using a questionnaire. In addition, the children and adolescents were examined at three study centers (Herdecke, Berlin, Filderstadt), where blood and urine samples were taken. The results were published in the 2020 Nutrition Report of the German Nutrition Society (DGE).


Alexy U, Fischer M, Weder S, Längler A, Michalsen A, Keller M (2021): Food group intake of children and adolescents (6-18 years) on a vegetarian, vegan, or omnivore diet: results of the VeChi Youth Study. Br J Nutr, 1-12. 

Alexy U, Fischer M, Weder S, Längler A, Michalsen A, Sputtek A, Keller M (2021): Nutrient intake and status of German children and adolescents consuming vegetarian, vegan and omnivore diets: results of the VeChi Youth Study. Nutrients 13 (5), 1707.

Hohoff E, Zahn H, Weder S, Fischer M, Längler A, Michalsen A, Keller M, Alexy U (2022): Food Costs of Children and Adolescents Consuming Vegetarian, Vegan or Omnivore Diets: Results of the Cross-Sectional VeChi Youth Study. Nutrients 14 (19), 4010.

Here you can find the homepage of the study (only available in German).