University of Tokyo

Survey Number 0954
Survey Title Consumer Affairs Agency Public Finance Project: Consumers' Reading of Nutrition Labels (Internet Survey), 2014
Depositor Deputy Secretary General, Consumer Affairs Agency
Restriction of Use For detailed information, please refer to 'For Data Users' on the SSJDA website.

- Apply to SSJDA. SSJDA's approval is required.
Educational Purpose Available for both research and instructional purposes.
Period of Data Use Permission One year
Access to Datasets Download
SSJDA Data Analysis Not available
Summary In recent years, in response to a rise in citizens' awareness of their own health and a desire to plan for the improvement of one's own food habits, the importance of the display of nutritional facts has also risen. People desire the accurate display of nutritional information on all food products.

Meanwhile, in other countries, efforts are underway to mandate indication of nutritional information, and an agreement has recently been made in the Codex committee, which considers the international standards of food, that nutritional labeling of packaged foods should be made mandatory.

At present, when displaying the content amounts of nutritional ingredients for commercially available food products, the "Health Promotion Law" stipulates that packages should adhere to "nutritional information standards," but whether or not a particular ingredient should be displayed is optional. Additionally, the content amounts of nutritional and other ingredients are not necessarily required to be analyzed values. As long as the displayed value is not inaccurate, anything is allowed. In reality, analyzed values, estimated values arrived at using databases, and calculated values are all used on nutritional labels.

In this context, the Food Labeling Act was passed in June 2013, thereby implementing a framework for making nutritional ingredient labeling mandatory.

As for the specific items that must be labeled, the law states that these are to be stipulated by the Food Standards Act. Thus, it is necessary for us to determine which contents businesses can measure as well as which items are most understandable and useful to the consumer.

Given the above, this survey focuses on highlighting nutritional values—something that has not been subject to much detailed surveying—and seeks to gather basic information such as to what extent general consumers understand and use current nutritional labels.

Additionally, this survey also evaluates the validity of basic knowledge gained via a qualitative survey (group interview) conducted previously as part of this survey project. This survey also attempted to poll general consumers and gain basic information on the ideal nature of nutritional labeling.
Data Type quantitative research: micro data
Universe Men and women aged 20 years and older
(However, individuals that would have specialized knowledge about nutrition (e.g. nutritionists) were excluded.)
Unit of Observation Individual
Sample Size Valid responses: 6,000 people
Date of Collection 2014-02-10 ~ 2014-02-12
Time Period 2014 ~ 2014
Spatial Unit Japan
Sampling Procedure Non-probability: Quota
Using the approximately 1.5 million registered monitors (public access) to whom Cross Marketing has access, we stratified in accordance with composition ratios given by the 2010 Census and randomly extracted 177,180 participants.
Mode of Data Collection Self-administered questionnaire: Web-based (CAWI)
Internet survey
Investigator Consumer Affairs Agency, Living Pro-Seed
DOI 10.34500/SSJDA.0954
Sponsors (Funds)
Related Publications (by the Investigator) Please refer to the abstract in Japanese.
Related Publications (based on Secondary Analysis) List of related publications (based on Secondary Analysis)
Documentation [Questionnaire]
Major Survey Items (1) Face items
・Gender, age group, presence of specialized knowledge, area of residence, marital status, family members residing in the same household, your occupation, highest level of educational attainment, annual household income

(2) Health condition
・Height/weight, physical activity level, physical activity level,presence of disease, whether pregnant or not

(3) Basic knowledge about nutrition and source of information
・Basic knowledge on nutrition (estimated calorie content, recommended daily values of salt, carbohydrate nutritional ingredients), source of information on nutrition/health

(4) Food preparation/purchase behavior and motivations for food selection
・Frequency of cooking, place where you purchase food, frequency with which you purchase food, types of processed food you buy, motivations for food selection

(5) Understanding of and intention to make use of nutritional labeling
・Use of front-of-package labeling and nutritional ingredients labeling, understanding of nutritional highlighting, understanding of 0 labeling, understanding of standard labeling values such as nutrient amount/use trends, understanding of nutritional ingredient labeling (calorie content, calculation of salt equivalent, meaning of salt equivalent, error range), intention to use food units, fat content breakdown, intention to use nutritional ingredient labeling (error range)

*For details on survey items, please refer to the questionnaire.
Date of Release 2014/10/20
Topics in CESSDA Click here for details

Consumption and consumer behaviour
Diet and nutrition
General health and well-being
Topics in SSJDA Society/Culture
Version 1 : 2014-10-20
Notes for Users Variable and value labels are written in Japanese.