Canadian Community Health Survey - Nutrition (CCHS)

Detailed information for 2014 (pilot)





Record number:


The Canadian Community Health Survey - Nutrition is a national health survey that collects information from Canadians about their eating habits and use of vitamin and mineral supplements, as well as other health factors.

Data release - No data will be released from this pilot survey.


This survey will give a detailed and up-to-date picture of not only what people are eating and what vitamins and minerals they take, but the impact this has on health and well-being. It will also evaluate changes in food consumption, nutrition and health since this survey was last done in 2004.

The objectives of the Canadian Community Health Survey - Nutrition are:

(1) To collect detailed data on the consumption of foods and dietary supplements among a representative sample of Canadians at national and provincial levels;

(2) To estimate the distribution of usual dietary intake in terms of nutrients from foods, food groups, dietary supplements and eating patterns;

(3) To gather anthropometric (physical) measurements for accurate body weight and height assessment to interpret dietary intake;

(4) To support the interpretation and analysis of dietary intake data by collecting data on selected health conditions and socio-economic and demographic characteristics; and

(5) To evaluate changes in dietary intake from the 2004 CCHS - Nutrition.

The data collected from the main survey will be used by Statistics Canada, Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada, provincial and territorial ministries of health, as well as federal and provincial health planners across the country, industry and researchers and health professionals. Results from our surveys are used extensively for policy-making and program development that affect Canadian communities. The Canadian Community Health Survey has already been instrumental in drawing attention to emerging health issues, such as increasing trends in obesity.

The pilot survey for the Canadian Community Health Survey - Nutrition will test survey content, methodology, computer applications, interviewer procedures, reference material and data processing techniques in preparation for the main survey collection in 2015.


  • Diseases and health conditions
  • Health
  • Lifestyle and social conditions

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population covers the population 1 year of age and over living in British Columbia and Quebec. Excluded from the survey's coverage are: persons living on reserves and other Aboriginal settlements, full-time members of the Canadian Forces and the institutionalized population.

Instrument design

The Canadian Community Health Survey - Nutrition questionnaire was developed by Statistics Canada in collaboration with stakeholders from Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Provincial Health Ministries, and an expert advisory group consisting of specialists from Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada and academic experts. Content was chosen using the following set of criteria:

- Comparability with previous cycle of CCHS Nutrition survey
- Issues identified as priority for the support/development of programs and policy, surveillance requirements and/or research
- Significant number of people affected by the targeted issue
- Significant impact on family, community, and health care costs
- Data has potential for health improvement with policy intervention
- Issues identified as data gaps from the stakeholder consultations

Nutrition questions are designed for computer-assisted interviewing (CAI), meaning that, as the questions were developed, the associated logical flow into and out of the questions was programmed. This includes specifying the type of answer required, the minimum and maximum values, on-line edits associated with the question and what to do in case of item non-response.

In collaboration with Statistics Canada's Questionnaire Design Resource Centre, the questionnaire was subjected to qualitative testing in May 2013, which consisted of one-on-one interviews. The objective was to evaluate respondent reactions to and understanding of the survey, as well as their willingness to respond to the questions. The qualitative testing was also used to obtain estimates for the various section times.


This is a sample survey with a cross-sectional design.

The sampling frame for the Canadian Community Health Survey - Nutrition pilot is composed of a list of addresses in selected communities in Quebec and British Columbia. It is taken from Statistics Canada's Address Register. Furthermore, in order to test the questionnaire in both languages, only households in Quebec that have at least one person who speaks French and households in BC that have at least one person who speaks English were kept in-scope.

Sampling Units
The sampling units are dwellings.

The pilot sample has been stratified into two parts: half of the sample will be in Quebec and the other half will be in British Columbia. In addition, about sixty municipalities were specifically chosen for the pilot sample, based on interviewer availability.

Sample Selection Methods
One Census Dissemination Area (DA) per municipality will be randomly selected, with the exception of Montreal and Quebec, where three DAs will be selected. Within each DA, dwellings will be stratified based on household composition when available and a simple random sample of dwellings will be selected in each stratum in order to obtain 16 or 17 sampled dwellings per DA.

Sample Size
The sample size for the pilot survey is 1,000 raw units with 500 units selected in Quebec and 500 units selected in British Columbia.

Data sources

Data collection for this reference period: 2014-04-17 to 2014-05-28

Responding to this survey is voluntary.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

Before the start of each collection period, introductory letters and brochures explaining the purpose of the survey are sent to the sampled households.

Respondents are interviewed using a computer assisted personal interview (CAPI). Approximately 30% of respondents will do a second dietary recall using a computer assisted telephone interview (CATI).

The format of the interview will be determined by the age of the selected respondent:

- Selected respondent ages 1 to 5: Proxy only (The parent or guardian is asked to provide the child's information.)

- Selected respondent ages 6 to 11: Parent-assisted (The child is asked to provide his/her information with the help of his/her parent or guardian.)

- Selected respondent ages 12 and up: Non-proxy (The respondent is asked to provide his/her own information.)

It should be noted that proxy interviews for respondents aged 6 and older are to occur only if the mental or physical health of the selected member makes it impossible to complete the interview during the collection period.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any data which would divulge information obtained under the Statistics Act that relates to any identifiable person, business or organization without the prior knowledge or the consent in writing of that person, business or organization. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

It should be noted that for this pilot survey, no public use microdata file will be produced by Statistics Canada and data will not be made available through the Data Liberation Initiative (DLI).

Report a problem on this page

Is something not working? Is there information outdated? Can't find what you're looking for?

Please contact us and let us know how we can help you.

Privacy notice

Date modified: