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Characterisation of vitamin and mineral supplement users differentiated according to their motives for using supplements: results of the German National Nutrition Monitoring (NEMONIT)

  • Anne Frey (a1), Ingrid Hoffmann (a1) and Thorsten Heuer (a1)

Abstract

Objective

To characterise German vitamin and mineral supplement users differentiated by their motives for supplement use.

Design

Data were obtained from the German National Nutrition Monitoring (2010/11) via two 24 h dietary recalls and a telephone interview. Motive-based subgroups of supplement users were identified by factor and cluster analysis. Sociodemographic, lifestyle, health and dietary characteristics and supplement use were examined. Differences were analysed using χ 2 tests, logistic and linear regression models.

Setting

Germany, nationwide.

Subjects

Individuals (n 1589) aged 18–80 years.

Results

Three motive-based subgroups were identified: a ‘Prevention’ subgroup (n 324), characterised by the motive to prevent nutrient deficiencies; a ‘Prevention and additional benefits’ subgroup (n 166), characterised by motives to prevent health problems and improve well-being and performance; and a ‘Treatment’ subgroup (n 136), characterised by motives to treat nutrient deficiencies or diseases. Members of the two prevention subgroups had a higher Healthy Eating Index score and tended to be more physically active than non-users. Those in the ‘Prevention and additional benefits’ subgroup supplemented with a greater number of micronutrients. Members of the ‘Treatment’ subgroup tended to be older and have a lower self-reported health status than non-users, and supplemented with a smaller number of micronutrients.

Conclusions

The majority of supplement users take supplements for preventive purposes and they are more health conscious than non-users of supplements due to their concerns about developing health problems. Those supplementing for treatment purposes may have underlying health indications and may be more likely to benefit from supplementation than those supplementing for preventive purposes.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.

Corresponding author

* Corresponding author: Email thorsten.heuer@mri.bund.de

References

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Characterisation of vitamin and mineral supplement users differentiated according to their motives for using supplements: results of the German National Nutrition Monitoring (NEMONIT)

  • Anne Frey (a1), Ingrid Hoffmann (a1) and Thorsten Heuer (a1)

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