Vegan Food Consumption Surveys

They are few scientific surveys upon the real food consumption of the vegans, but two of them stand out for their relevance & methodology

  • The EPIC-Oxford survey : following the daily diets of 65 500 adult persons (including 18 900 vegans) over 2 years (Key & Al -2006 – health effect of vegetarian & vegan diets)
  • The Peter Clarys & al (Free University of Brussels and EVA – Ethical Vegetarian Alternative) in 2012 with a panel of 1475 people (Vegans et Omnivorous)

Oxford Epic : daily consumption per type (abstract)

Univ Bruxelles
Daily Consumption

Based upon those two scientific surveys, we observe for the Vegan consumers (vs the omnivorous)

  • A higher/better HEI -Healthy Eating Index- (not a surprise !) see for explanation: https://www.cnpp.usda.gov/healthyeatingindex
  • A higher/better fiber consumption
  • A lower Protein intake. Enough in average to cover the basic adult requirement. however approximately 1/3 of the vegan consumers have a lower intake than the recommendation. this proportion may be higher for people with specific needs : seniors, youngs etc.
  • A significant deficit in Vit B 12
  • Average intakes of Calcium lower than the almost 1gr/day target (taking into account the individual variations, this also mean that 30/40% of the Vegans have a structural too low supply of calcium, a serious long term risk for adults, a true issue for youngs, seniors and pregnant women)
  • The Iron paradox : Vegans have higher intakes of iron than omnivores, which is largely sufficient in theory. However, because of the low digestibility of non-blood iron (difficult to predict) (only 10% of intake on average), this level of ingestion is not a guarantee of satisfactory levels of iron in the body . This is why an annual check of iron levels in the blood is strongly recommended and a supplementation equivalent to the RDA useful, without risk.