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How often hat worn if outside on sunny day over 1 hour

Codes and Frequencies

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For all sample adults, SUN1HAT reports how frequently they would wear a hat that shades the "face, ears, and neck" when they went outside on a sunny day for more than one hour.


In 2000, 2003, 2005, 2008 but not 2010 and forward, respondents were shown a flashcard listing the response categories, which included, "Always," "Most of the time," "Sometimes," "Rarely" and "Never." In 2010 and forward, respondents were read the same response categories but were not shown a flashcard.

In 2000 and 2003, the question asked about, "a very sunny day." However in 2005, 2008, 2010, and 2015, the question asks about, "a warm sunny day." In 2020 forward, the question simply asks about "a sunny day."

From 2005 to 2015, respondents were also shown a flashcard displaying images of acceptable kinds of hats.

Prior to 2020, interviewers were instructed to read, if necessary, "Do NOT include visors, baseball caps, or hats that do not shade the ears and neck." In the 2005 and 2008 survey instruments, interviewers were also instructed to state, "Include safari hats," and in 2010 and 2015 this changed to, "Include legionnaire hats."

The 2003 Field Representative's Manual provides the following definition for "hat":

A hat that is useful for sun protection includes all wide-brimmed hats that shade the face, ears and neck. Do not include visors, baseball caps, or hats that do not shade the ears and neck.

The Manuals from other years included similarly worded definitions for "hat."

For more information, please see SUN1HR.


Researchers should be aware about the varying use of both text and example hat flashcards when comparing this variable before and after 2005. They should also be aware of the change in the phrasing of the question from, "a very sunny day" to, "a warm sunny day."

Additionally, while the basic meaning of this variable is completely comparable over time, major questionnaire changes introduced in 2019 may affect comparability with earlier years. The NHIS questionnaire was substantially redesigned in 2019 to introduce a different data collection structure and new content. For more information on changes in terminology, universes, and data collection methods beginning in 2019, please see the user note.


  • 2000; 2003; 2005; 2008; 2010; 2015: Sample adults age 18+.
  • 2020: Sample adults age 18+.


  • 2000, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2015, 2020


  • 2000, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2015, 2020 : SAMPWEIGHT