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International VEGANScreener project assesses the nutritional quality of vegans

An international research group led by the Department of Epidemiology at the Medical University of Vienna has developed VEGANScreener, a new tool with 29 questions on the dietary quality of vegans in Europe. The tool aims to provide a quick overview of dietary habits and identify potential areas for improvement. This should help vegans and healthcare providers to assess diet quality, set dietary goals and track progress over time.

In a recently published study, an international team of scientists from Austria (the Department of Epidemiology at MedUni Vienna's Center for Public Health is coordinator of the consortium), Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, Switzerland and a collaborator from the USA describe the development of the VEGANScreener as part of a JPI HDHL ERA-NET-funded initiative.

A balanced diet is necessary
"Plant-based diets are gaining popularity for personal and environmental health reasons. However, these diets are not necessarily healthy as they may contain excessive amounts of sugar, sodium and saturated fats or lack variety, just like omnivorous diets. In addition, vegans may be at risk for inadequate intake of certain vitamins and minerals found in foods they avoid, such as vitamin B12 or certain amino acids," says Selma Kronsteiner-Gicevic, the lead author of the publication.

The next phase of the study includes the validation of the screening in vegans in Europe and the development of a web/mobile phone app.

Epidemiologist Eva Schernhammer from MedUni Vienna, one of the lead authors and coordinator of the VEGANScreener, adds: "This tool aims to be easy to use and interpret for both vegans and healthcare providers. It should assess the overall dietary quality of vegans, identify potential areas for dietary improvement, help vegans and their healthcare providers set dietary goals, and monitor progress over time."

Publication: Nutrients
Development of the VEGANScreener, a Tool for a Quick Diet Quality Assessment among Vegans in Europe.
Selma Kronsteiner-Gicevic, Leonie H. Bogl, Maria Wakolbinger, Sandra Müller, Joelina Dietrich, Willem De Keyzer, Vanessa Bullón-Vela, Eliska Selinger, Vanessa Keller, Ainara Martínez Tabar, Tooba Asif, Leone Craig, Janet Kyle, Sabrina Schlesinger, Christian Köder, Anna Ouradova, Marina Henikova, Wendy Van Lippevelde, Monika Cahova, Miguel Angel Martínez González, Walter Willett, Maira Bes-Rastrollo †, Jan Gojda †, Stefaan De Henauw †, Markus Keller †, Marek Kuzma †, and Eva Schernhammer †
† These authors contributed equally to this work.
Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643, IF 5.9, CiteScore 9)