Objective: To explore differences in food and nutrient intake as well as cardiovascular risk factors between the eastern and western parts of Germany in 1998 and to compare food consumption information between 1991 and 1998.
Design and subjects: In all, 4030 people, aged 18-79 y, sampled from the East and West parts of Germany participated in the German Nutrition Survey (1998) by completing dietary histories and being assessed for cardiovascular risk factors. In a separate analysis, two food frequency data sets were compared from National Health Surveys conducted in 1991 (n = 7466) and in 1998 (n = 4556).
Results: In 1998, East Germans consumed more bread, fruit, fish, sausage, offal, and men additionally more cakes/cookies, beer and soft drinks than West Germans. They consumed less cereals, pasta, sweets, leafy vegetables, tea and drinking water, and men less vegetables and wine and women less pastry/crackers, potatoes and animal fat compared with their counterparts in West Germany. East Germans had a higher intake of total vitamin A, retinol, vitamin D, vitamin B12 and chloride, and in addition men of alcohol, and women of monosaccharides. They had a lower intake of total water, vitamin K, calcium, magnesium and manganese, and men of linoleic acid, and women of vitamin E than their West German counterparts. In East Germany, higher mean systolic blood pressure, and total and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations were found in men, and a lower mean total serum cholesterol concentration found in women compared with West Germany.
Conclusion: Differences in food intake between the eastern and western parts of Germany still existed in 1998, although these differences were smaller than those observed 1 y after the reunification.