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Which Consumers are Least Likely to Have a Balanced Diet in Japan?

Akira Ishida and Emiko Ishida

Pertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities, Volume 29, Issue 1, March 2021

DOI: https://doi.org/10.47836/pjssh.29.1.23

Keywords: Balanced diet, cohabitation, Japan, Ordered logit, Shokuiku (food and nutrition education)

Published on: 26 March 2021

There have been only a few large-scale nationwide studies regarding the frequency of eating a balanced diet consisting of staple food, the main dish, and side dishes in Japan. Therefore, this study aimed to clarify factors affecting the frequency of eating a balanced meal that consists of staple food, the main dish, and side dishes twice a day. We analyzed the secondary data of 13,772 responses from the 7-year pooled cross-sectional data of the nationwide Surveys of Attitudes toward Shokuiku (Food and Nutrition Education) by the Cabinet Office and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan. Ordered logit regression was used to find factors affecting the frequency of having a balanced diet. Our estimation results suggested that gender, age, cohabitation, eating meals with family, subjective economic status, and residential area could be factors affecting the probability of having balanced meals every day. In conclusion, single men in their 20s-50s, single men in their 80s, older male adults living but not eating together with family, single women in their 20s-30s, and individuals with low economic status were identified as high-risk groups who do not have a balanced diet in Japan. Moreover, we found that the government health promotion program called Kenko Nippon 2013 (Health Japan 21, the second term) did not improve the dietary behavior of the consumer in Japan.

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