Health Foods in Japan

Posted By: Selerant RSA

On December 8, Japanese Food Safety Commission issued a public message related to health foods. The consumption of the so-called “health foods” has been widely spread in the Japanese market.

In its statement, the Food Safety Commission points out that the safety and effectiveness of the “health foods” is not based on scientific research. The Commission urged people to re-think whether such foods are indeed necessary for them to consume.

The Commission pointed out that taking a “health food” is a choice made without clear information on safety, quality and effectiveness. They recommend the consumers to note the name of ”health food”, date, amount of the intake, and any symptoms that may appear upon consumption of these foods. The Commission also urged the consumers to stop any intake in case of negative side effects.

The president of the Association of Health Food Industries said he agreed with the Commission statement and expressed the intention of the association to educate the consumers.  

In Japan, foods with health claims are classified into three categories, as shown in the table below. It is estimated that half of Japanese adult population consume “health foods”.

Foods with health claims as classified in Japan

Japan Health Food


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