At A Glance

Noteworthy Characteristics

  • Contains extensive data on knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to nutrition and labeling issues.



To collect data about knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to various current and emerging nutrition and labeling issues among consumers in the United States (U.S.).

Target Population

Civilian, noninstitutionalized adults ages 18 years and older in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.


Began in 1982. Conducted periodically. Most recent year conducted was 2014.


Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Special Note(s)

See Also: 2014 Health and Diet Survey: Topline Frequency Report

System Contact:
Dr. Serena Lo,
U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition


Sample Design

Cross-sectional survey.

Single-stage, randomized design. Learn more.

Sample Size

Approximately 2,480 adults in 2014.

Key Variables


NameMethods of Assessment
Age (respondent only)Interview/questionnaire
Household incomeInterview/questionnaire
Number of children in householdInterview/questionnaire
Sex (respondent only)Interview/questionnaire


NameMethods of Assessment
Awareness of the relationship between diet (including specific dietary components such as trans fats) and specific diseases (e.g., cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure)Interview/questionnaire
Beliefs about dietary supplements and their labelsInterview/questionnaire
Degree to which respondent makes household grocery purchasing decisionsInterview/questionnaire
Frequency of dietary supplement useInterview/questionnaire
How often each respondent eats breakfast, lunch, and dinner each week and the number of these meals prepared at homeInterview/questionnaire
Knowledge of fats and cholesterolInterview/questionnaire
Knowledge of dietary deficienciesInterview/questionnaire
Substitution of dietary supplements for prescription or over-the-counter drugsInterview/questionnaire
Tracking of consumption of dietary components (e.g., fat, specific nutrients) and methods for trackingInterview/questionnaire
Use of food labels (including specific label content such as ingredient list or calorie information)Interview/questionnaire
Use of various information sources on dietary supplementsInterview/questionnaire

Physical Activity-Related

NameMethods of Assessment
Frequency and length of moderate or vigorous physical activityInterview/questionnaire


NameMethods of Assessment
Sleep-related substance use: CaffeineInterview/Questionnaire (telephone survey)


NameMethods of Assessment
Doctor’s advice to lose weightInterview/questionnaire
Height and weight (respondent only)Self-report
Perception of their weight (respondent only)Interview/questionnaire
Weight loss attempts in past yearInterview/questionnaire


NameMethods of Assessment
Census region


NameMethods of Assessment
Adverse experiences with dietary supplementsInterview/questionnaire

Data Access and Cost

Data Availability

Obtain data through special agreement. Contact Dr. Serena Lo, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Office of Regulation, Policy and Social Sciences, 5100 Paint Branch Parkway, College Park, MD 20740-3835.


Free of charge.

Special Note(s)

The most recent year for which data are available is not necessarily the most recent year this survey was conducted.


Geocode Variable(s)

Census region. (Additional variables available upon request.)

Existing Linkages

None found.

Selected Publications


Derby BM, Fein SB. Meeting the NLEA education challenge: A consumer research perspective. In: Shapiro R, ed. Nutrition labeling handbook. New York: Marcel Dekker, 1995, 315-352.

Levy AS, Stephenson M. Nutrition knowledge levels about dietary fats and cholesterol: 1983-88. Journal of Nutrition Education 1993;25:60-66.

Lin CT, Yen ST. Knowledge of dietary fats among U.S. consumers. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2010;110(4):613-618.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Survey shows gains in food-label use, health/diet awareness.



2014 Survey Instrument