Adequate nutrition is particularly important for the healthy development of children and adolescents. Little is known in Switzerland about the eating behavior of these age groups. A national nutrition survey will provide detailed data on the nutritional status of children and adolescents aged six to seventeen in Switzerland.

Children and adolescents need a balanced supply of energy and nutrients for their physical and mental development, which is particularly important in the growing phase. This also reduces the risk of health problems such as obesity and dental caries, but also of diseases that normally occur later in life, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. It is also known that preferences for certain eating habits are developed in adolescence, which are often maintained into adulthood, thus helping to shape health behavior.

In 2015, the National MenuCH Nutrition Survey provided an overview of the nutritional status of adults in Switzerland for the first time. However, there is still no study in our country that addresses the nutritional behavior of children and adolescents nationwide.

Who eats what, how much, when and where?

The survey commissioned by USAV aims to show which children and adolescents eat what, how much, when and where.

Data on children's and adolescents' eating and health behavior are collected in detail through various surveys. In addition, height, body weight, and hip and waist circumference are recorded.

Food consumption data are obtained through the compilation of one-day food diaries (24-hour records) and 24-hour recall protocols (24-hour recall). For this purpose, children and adolescents are interviewed once on-site at one of the six study centers and once by telephone. To better characterize nutritional status and nutrient intake, urine (spot analysis) and venous blood are also collected from a subgroup and analyzed for various parameters. Participation in the study and delivery of urine and blood samples are voluntary.

The information obtained is used, among other things, to:

  • characterize eating habits and health behaviors (who eats what, how much, when and where);
  • determine nutritional status, energy and nutrient intake;
  • estimate daily intake and establish maximum values for contaminants and pesticides that are harmless to health;
  • derive national standard values for certain blood and urine biomarkers (e.g., vitamins).


01.06.2022 - 31.05.2025