Codes and Frequencies
For sample adults who had used a special diet (2007) or had used a special diet for two weeks or more for health reasons (2002) during the past 12 months (see below), DITPRAC indicates whether the respondent had ever seen a practitioner for a special diet.
In 2002 and 2007, sample persons were asked about their use of several special diets during the past year. These included:
- Atkins (DITATKINYR)
- Macrobiotic (DITMACYR)
- Ornish (DITORNYR)
- Pritikin (DITPRITYR)
- South Beach (DITSBYR, 2007 only)
- Vegetarian (DITVEGYR)
- Zone (DITZONYR)
Respondents who indicated using one or more of the above special diets were asked the question for DITPRAC. Those respondents with a "Yes" response to DITPRAC were asked follow-up questions:
- Saw practitioner for special diet, past 12 months (DITPRACYR, 2002 and 2007)
- Type of practitioner seen for special diet (DITPRACALT, DITPRACMD, DITPRACNUT, DITPRACRN, DITPRACOTH, all 2007 only)
- Number of times saw practitioner for special diet (DITPRACNO, 2007 only)
- Amount paid per visit to practitioner for special diet (dollars) (DITPRACPAY, 2007 only)
In general, however, the use of special diets does not require seeing a practitioner. Many other forms of complementary and alternative medicine inquired about in the NHIS do require a practitioner (e.g., acupuncture, hypnosis, massage). Variables similar to DITPRAC that indicate whether the respondent had ever seen a practitioner for a modality of alternative medicine (even though a practitioner is not essential for using that modality) include:
- Homeopathic treatment (HOMPRAC)
- Relaxation techniques (RELPRAC)
- Herbal supplements (HERPRAC)
- High dose or megavitamin therapy (VITPRAC)
For more information on the full range of variables related to special diets, including definitions, see DITATKINYR.
Along with universe changes, the question wording for DITPRAC and the scope of "special diets" changed between 2002 and 2007.
In 2002, respondents were asked, "Have you ever seen a practitioner for special diets?"
In 2007, respondents were asked, "Have you ever seen a practitioner for [fill: diet used most] diet?" (DITMOST reports the diet a respondent had used the most.)
Thus, a respondent in 2007 who had seen a practitioner for a special diet other than the one he or she had used the most would probably give a "No" response to DITPRAC. However, that same respondent would probably give a "Yes" response to DITPRAC in 2002.
Additionally, the special diets recognized by the NHIS changed between 2002 and 2007. Specifically, the South Beach diet was added to the list of special diets in 2007. Thus, a respondent who had used the South Beach diet the most in 2007 and had seen a practitioner for it would likely have said "Yes" to DITPRAC in 2007, but given the same circumstances may have said "No" in 2002.
- 2002: Sample adults age 18+ who have used a special diet for two weeks or more for health reasons during the past 12 months.
- 2007: Sample adults age 18+ who have used a special diet during the past 12 months.
- 2012: Sample adults age 18+ who have used a special diet during the past 12 months and sample children between the ages of 4 and 17.
- 2002, 2007, 2012