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Recode: frequency eating sweets/baked goods, times per year


SWEETSYR is a 4-digit-numeric variable.

0: Never or less than 6 times per year
9995: 9995+
9996: Not in Universe
9997: Unknown-refused
9998: Unknown-not ascertained
9999: Unknown-don't know


For sample adults, SWEETSYR is a recoded variable that reports the frequency with which the respondent consumes sugary, baked goods in one year. This recoded variable is based on responses to questions about how often the respondent consumed baked goods; respondents could report the frequency per day, week, month, or year. SWEETSYR aggregates responses to questions about different types of baked goods to create a variable that allows researchers to compare baked goods consumption across more samples. For details on the data used to construct SWEETSYR, see the Comparability and Survey Text tabs.

SWEETSYR is part of a series of variables initiated in 1987 related to food, food knowledge, and cancer. For related variables, please use the IPUMS NHIS search function and drop-down menus.


Prior to 2000, respondents were asked to report the frequency with which they ate pie, as well as how often they ate other baked goods including doughnuts, cookies, cake, or pastries. Beginning in 2010 baked goods were instead divided between doughnuts, , and cookies, cake, pie, or brownies. To allow for comparability across years, the two categories are aggregated into the single variable SWEETSYR. Researchers interested in the differentiated sweets types should see PIEYR, which reports the number of times the respondent ate pie in one year (for 1987 and 1992), and DONUTYR, which reports the number of doughnuts, sweet rolls, Danishes, muffins, or pop-tarts the respondent ate in one year (for 2010). Data users can divide SWEETSYR by DONUTYR by PIEYR in a given sample to create the proportion of a specific type of sweets. Because these baked goods are only divided into two categories in each year, the proportion of one baked good category to another is directly inverse.

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 (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

Changes in survey design (e.g., quarters in which the supplement was collected) may affect raw frequencies, but do not affect comparability of the variable. As always, data users should use the prescribed IHIS weights.


  • 1987: Half of sample persons age 18+ (excluded from CACT supplement).
  • 1992: Half of sample persons age 18+ in quarters 1 and 2, and in 2 weeks of quarter 3 (excluded from CACT supplement).
  • 2010; 2015: Sample adults age 18+.


  • 1987, 1992, 2010, 2015