Regional and socio-economic differences in food, nutrient and supplement intake in school-age children in Germany: results from the GINIplus and the LISAplus studies

Public Health Nutr. 2011 Oct;14(10):1724-35. doi: 10.1017/S1368980010003575. Epub 2011 Jan 31.


Objective: To describe regional differences between eastern and western Germany with regard to food, nutrient and supplement intake in 9-12-year-old children, and analyse its association with parental education and equivalent income.

Design: Data were obtained from the 10-year follow-up of the two prospective birth cohort studies - GINIplus and LISAplus. Data on food consumption and supplement intake were collected using an FFQ, which had been designed for the specific study population. Information on parental educational level and equivalent income was derived from questionnaires. Logistic regression modelling was used to analyse the effect of parental education, equivalent income and region on food intake, after adjusting for potential confounders.

Setting: Germany.

Subjects: A total of 3435 children aged 9-12 years.

Results: Substantial regional differences in food intake were observed between eastern and western Germany. Intakes of bread, butter, eggs, pasta, vegetables/salad and fruit showed a significant direct relationship with the level of parental education after adjusting for potential confounders, whereas intakes of margarine, meat products, pizza, desserts and soft drinks were inversely associated with parental education. Equivalent income had a weaker influence on the child's food intake.

Conclusions: Nutritional education programmes for school-age children should therefore account for regional differences and parental education.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Energy Intake*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Food Preferences
  • Fruit
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Parents / education
  • Prospective Studies
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vegetables