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Believes TB spread through food and water

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For sample adults who reported knowing "a lot," "some," or "a little" about tuberculosis (TB) (TBKNOW) and responded "Yes" to the question, "Do you know how TB is spread from one person to another?" (TBKNOWSPRED), TBFOOD indicates whether the respondent believed TB can be spread through food and water.

Interviewers asked, "As you understand it, how is TB spread from one person to another?" Respondents were then handed a card with five specific choices (including "through food and water") plus "other." (The categories were read to respondents for phone interviews.) The survey form directed interviewers to probe for additional answers by asking, "Any other way?" and to mark all categories chosen by the respondent.


Other choices specified on the flashcard in 1994 and 1995 were:

  • Breathing the air around a person who is sick with TB (TBSICKAIR)
  • By sexual intercourse (TBSEX)
  • From mosquito or other insect bites (TBINSECT)

Related Variables

Questions designed to determine public knowledge about TB transmission were also included in the NHIS for 2000 forward.


While the survey did not ask about TB transmission via food or inheritance from parents in these later years, interviewers did ask again about transmission through breathing air around a person infected with TB, sexual intercourse, and insect bites. For 2000 forward, the survey also asked whether TB could be transmitted by "sharing eating/drinking utensils" (TBDISHES) or "from smoking" (TBSMOKE).


There are no comparability problems for TBFOOD.


  • 1994-1995: Half of sample persons age 18+ (excluded from Y2K supplement) who know a lot, some, or a little about TB (or for whom it was unknown how much they know about TB), and who know how TB is spread from one person to another.


  • 1994-1995