Almost two thirds of the children in Germany eat organic food

Almost two thirds of the children in Germany eat organic food

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Nutrition: Children eat a lot of organic food - but also fast food

A study showed that almost two thirds of children in Germany eat organically grown food. Such products are not only more environmentally friendly, but are also considered to be healthier compared to conventionally produced goods. However, many adolescents often use unhealthy fast food.

In contrast to conventional agriculture, synthetic pesticides are not permitted in organic farming. Therefore, organic food is not only more environmentally friendly, but is also considered healthier for people. It is therefore to be welcomed that a large number of children in Germany regularly use organically grown food.

Questions about the nutrition of children and adolescents

How often do 12- to 17-year-olds eat fast food in Germany? Are energy drinks still popular in this age group? How many children eat organic food every day?

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) answers these and other questions in the "Journal of Health Monitoring".

The data on nutritional behavior with a focus on children and adolescents come from the second “Nutritional Study as a KiGGS Module”, EsKiMo II.

KiGGS is a regular, comprehensive study on the health of children and adolescents in Germany and an important component of RKI health monitoring.

In childhood, the course is set for later health

"The health of adolescents is particularly important because childhood and adolescence set the course for health in adulthood," said Lothar H. Wieler, President of the RKI, in a statement.

"Our data are the basis for recommendations for action on prevention," emphasizes the expert.

The EsKiMo study was carried out from 2015 to 2017 for the second time after 2006. The data currently published concern the three fields of consumption of fast food, energy drinks and organic food.

According to the RKI, the connection to KiGGS enables the analysis of relationships between numerous socio-demographic characteristics and lifestyle factors.

Socio-economic status plays a role

Population-based studies on the consumption of organic food are rare. Current data on this topic are now available in children aged six to eleven. According to this, 63.2 percent of children eat organic food.

In these children, the contribution of organic food to the daily consumption is on average eight percent. The higher the socio-economic status, the higher the organic content consumed. However, no differences were found between sex and age.

High consumption of fast food

Fast food products are not considered healthy because they are usually high in fat and usually contain large amounts of highly processed carbohydrates, lots of salt and hidden sugar.

In the study, 23 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds reported high consumption of fast food. According to the RKI, these “high consumers” show differences according to gender, age, socio-economic status, school type, size of municipality and media consumption.

For example, the energy share from fast food increases with age, but decreases with a higher socio-economic status of the family. In girls, the energy intake via fast food has hardly changed in the past ten years (125 or 126 kilocalories per day), but in boys it has decreased significantly (from 252 to 188 kilocalories per day).

“One thing is clear: that's not enough. With a view to the health of the population, fast food consumption should be further reduced, ”said Wieler.

Too high caffeine intake via energy drinks

The data on caffeine intake via energy drinks are also interesting because they contain more than twice as much caffeine as conventional cola drinks.

Excessive caffeine intake can lead to health side effects, such as nausea or nervousness.

EsKiMo II shows that almost 25 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds who consume energy drinks simply exceed the caffeine limit that the European Food Authority recommends. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Robert Koch Institute (RKI): Fast Food, Organic Food, Energy Drinks - Journal of Health Monitoring with new data on nutritional behavior in Germany, (accessed: March 4, 2020), Robert Koch Institute (RKI)
  • Robert Koch Institute (RKI): Health Monitoring, (accessed: March 4, 2020), Robert Koch Institute (RKI)
  • Robert Koch Institute (RKI): Journal of Health Monitoring, (published: March 4, 2020), Robert Koch Institute (RKI)

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