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Frequency eating hot or cold cereals during past month: Number of units


CEREALMNO is a 3-digit-numeric variable.

0: Never or less than 6 times per year
996: Not in Universe
997: Unknown-refused
998: Unknown-not ascertained
999: Unknown-don't know


For sample adults aged 18 and older, CEREALMNO reports how many times the respondent ate hot or cold cereal in a specified time period. CEREALMNO should be used in conjunction with CEREALMTP, which reports the corresponding time unit stated by the respondent. To see the types of cereal that correspond with CEREALMNO (in 2010 verbatim responses were used to record types of cereal consumed most), see CEREALMTYP1 and CEREALMTYP2.

CEREALMNO is part of a series of variables initiated in 1987 related to food, food knowledge, and cancer.


Prior to 2000, respondents were asked about foods they usually ate in the past year. Beginning in 2000, this recall period was reduced to foods the respondent usually ate in the past month. The structure of the responses beginning in 2000 and excluding 2005 (recording number of times a food was consumed and the time unit associated with that frequency) makes it possible to compare response categories even with different recall periods. In 2005, this format of separate frequency and time units was not used; instead respondents' answers were organized into pre-defined categories, and this data is available in the variable CEREALMO. Researchers interested in using more years of available data may consider seeing the 2005 variable CEREALMO, and modifying CEREALMNO and CEREALMTP (or CEREALYR) to correspond with the pre-defined categories from 2005.

Prior to 2000, respondents were asked about hot or cooked cereals (e.g., oatmeal), high fiber cereals (e.g., granola), highly fortified cereals (e.g., Total, Product 19, or Just Right), and other cold cereals separately. In 2000, respondents were only asked to report their consumption of cold cereal. In 2005, response categories for types of cereal include hot or cooked cereals, all bran cereals, cereals with some bran or fiber, cereals with little bran or fiber, and other cold cereals. Beginning in 2010, respondents listed the specific type of cereal verbatim, rather than a general type of cereal.

Data users wishing to compare cereal consumption across multiple years might consider CEREALYR, a recoded variable the reports total cereal consumption per year. CEREALTYPE reports the type of cereal the respondent reported consuming most. Prior to 2010, respondents were asked about pre-defined categories of cereal (e.g., all bran cereals, low-bran or fiber cereals, cooked cereals, etc.). Beginning in 2010, types of cereal were recorded as verbatim responses, including specific cereal types and brands. Given the single cereal type in 2000 and the large number of more specific cereal types beginning in 2010, these samples are not included in CEREALTYPE.


  • 2010; 2015: Sample adults age 18+.


  • 2010, 2015