Table of Contents

Locator Record

Title: Weight History (WHQ )
Contact Number: 1-866-441-NCHS
Years of Content: 1999 - 2000
First Published: June, 2002
Revised: NA
Access Constraints: None
Use Constraints: None
Geographic Coverage: National
Subject:Weight History
Record Source: NHANES 1999 - 2000
Survey Methodology: NHANES 1999 - 2000 is a stratified multistage probability sample of the civilian non-institutionalized population of the U.S.
Medium: NHANES Web site; SAS transport files

Component Description

 The Weight History section (abbreviated "WHQ" in the NHANES questionnaire variable naming convention scheme) provides personal interview data on several questions related to body weight.

General questions were asked of persons 16+ years of age, questions about weight 10 years ago were asked of persons 36+ years of age, questions about weight and height at age 25 were asked of persons 27+ years of age, questions about maximum lifetime weight were asked of persons 18+ years of age, and questions about minimum weight since age 18 were asked of persons 19+ years of age.

Topics and the target population groups in the WHQ section:

Eligible Sample

The target samples for questions in this section vary. Please review the questionnaire and codebook carefully. Frequency counts were verified during the preparation of the file.

Data Processing and Editing

 Data Processing and Preparation

"Other, Specify" responses for WHQ.080 and WHQ100 were recoded, where appropriate, into two additional categories for data release. These categories were "Drank a lot of water" and "Followed a special diet, such as Dr. Atkins, other high protein or low carbohydrate diet, Zone, grapefruit, Pritikin."

The weight reported for WHQ.140 was checked against other reported body weights to ensure that it was the maximum weight reported up to and including the present time. The weight reported for WHQ.160 was checked against other weights to ensure that it
was the minimum weight reported since age 18. When errors were found, WHQ.140 and WHQ.150 (age at maximum weight), and WHQ.160 and WHQ.170 (age at minimum weight) were coded as "Don’t Know" (denoted by 9999 values). For one survey participant, a current height judged to be in error was coded as "Don’t Know." For another survey participant, both current height and height 25 years ago were judged to be in error and were coded as "Don’t Know."

Data Editing

Self-reported height was standardized to inches using the conversion factors 0.3937 inches per centimeter and 12 inches per foot. Current and past self-reported weights were standardized to weight in pounds using the conversion factor 2.2046 pounds per kilogram.

Analytic Notes

Current weight (WHQ.020) included weight during pregnancy.

A "yes" response to the question, "Was the change between {your/SP’s} current weight and {your/his/her} weight a year ago intentional?" (WHQ.060) incorrectly skipped the interviewer to WHQ.090. A "Yes" response to WHQ.060 should have taken the interviewer to WHQ.080.

For WHQ.150, if maximum weight extended over more than one year, the interviewer recorded the most recent age at which the survey participant reported that weight.

References

Codebook and Frequencies

SEQN - Respondent sequence number

Variable Name:
SEQN
SAS Label:
Respondent sequence number
English Text:
Respondent sequence number.
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS

WHD010 - Current self-reported height (inches)

Variable Name:
WHD010
SAS Label:
Current self-reported height (inches)
English Text:
These next questions ask about {your/SP's} height and weight at different times in {your/his/her} life. How tall {are you/is SP} without shoes?
English Instructions:
ENTER HEIGHT IN FEET AND INCHES OR METERS AND CENTIMETERS
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
39 to 80 Range of Values 5860 5860
7777 Refused 0 5860
9999 Don't know 179 6039
. Missing 5 6044

WHD020 - Current self-reported weight (pounds)

Variable Name:
WHD020
SAS Label:
Current self-reported weight (pounds)
English Text:
How much {do you/does SP} weigh without clothes or shoes?
English Instructions:
RECORD CURRENT WEIGHT. INCLUDE WEIGHT DURING PREGNANCY. ENTER WEIGHT IN POUNDS OR KILOGRAMS.
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
60 to 420 Range of Values 5902 5902
77777 Refused 7 5909
99999 Don't know 130 6039
. Missing 5 6044

WHQ030 - How do you consider your weight

Variable Name:
WHQ030
SAS Label:
How do you consider your weight
English Text:
{Do you/Does SP} consider {your/his/her}self now to be . . .
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
1 Overweight, 2861 2861
2 Underweight, or 392 3253
3 About the right weight? 2759 6012
7 Refused 6 6018
9 Don't know 21 6039
. Missing 5 6044

WHD040 - Like to weigh more, less or same

Variable Name:
WHD040
SAS Label:
Like to weigh more, less or same
English Text:
Would {you/SP} like to weigh . . .
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
1 More, 525 525
2 Less, or 3251 3776
3 Stay about the same? 2236 6012
7 Refused 6 6018
9 Don't know 21 6039
. Missing 5 6044

WHD050 - Self-reported weight-1 yr ago (pounds)

Variable Name:
WHD050
SAS Label:
Self-reported weight-1 yr ago (pounds)
English Text:
How much did {you/SP} weigh a year ago?
English Instructions:
ENTER WEIGHT IN POUNDS OR KILOGRAMS. IF PREGNANT, ASK FOR WEIGHT BEFORE PREGNANCY.
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
62 to 420 Range of Values 5847 5847
77777 Refused 5 5852
99999 Don't know 187 6039
. Missing 5 6044

WHD060 - Weight change intentional

Variable Name:
WHD060
SAS Label:
Weight change intentional
English Text:
Was the change between {your/SP's} current weight and {your/his/her} weight a year ago intentional?
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
1 Yes 508 508 WHQ090
2 No 376 884
7 Refused 0 884
9 Don't know 0 884
. Missing 5160 6044

WHQ070 - Tried to lose weight in past year

Variable Name:
WHQ070
SAS Label:
Tried to lose weight in past year
English Text:
During the past 12 months, {have you/has SP} tried to lose weight?
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
1 Yes 1618 1618
2 No 3889 5507 WHQ090
7 Refused 8 5515 WHQ090
9 Don't know 11 5526 WHQ090
. Missing 518 6044

WHD080A - Ate less food to lose weight

Variable Name:
WHD080A
SAS Label:
Ate less food to lose weight
English Text:
How did {you/SP} try to lose weight?
English Instructions:
HAND CARD WHQ1. CODE ALL THAT APPLY.
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
10 Ate less food (amount) 1096 1096
77 Refused 0 1096
99 Don't know 1 1097
. Missing 4947 6044

WHD080B - Lowered calories to lose weight

Variable Name:
WHD080B
SAS Label:
Lowered calories to lose weight
English Text:
How did {you/SP} try to lose weight?
English Instructions:
HAND CARD WHQ1. CODE ALL THAT APPLY.
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
11 Switched to foods with lower calories 522 522
. Missing 5522 6044

WHQ080C - Ate less fat to lose weight

Variable Name:
WHQ080C
SAS Label:
Ate less fat to lose weight
English Text:
How did {you/SP} try to lose weight?
English Instructions:
HAND CARD WHQ1. CODE ALL THAT APPLY.
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
12 Ate less fat 644 644
. Missing 5400 6044

WHD080D - Exercised to lose weight

Variable Name:
WHD080D
SAS Label:
Exercised to lose weight
English Text:
How did {you/SP} try to lose weight?
English Instructions:
HAND CARD WHQ1. CODE ALL THAT APPLY.
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
13 Exercised 925 925
. Missing 5119 6044

WHQ080E - Skipped meals to lose weight

Variable Name:
WHQ080E
SAS Label:
Skipped meals to lose weight
English Text:
How did {you/SP} try to lose weight?
English Instructions:
HAND CARD WHQ1. CODE ALL THAT APPLY.
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
14 Skipped meals 307 307
. Missing 5737 6044

WHD080F - Ate diet products to lose weight

Variable Name:
WHD080F
SAS Label:
Ate diet products to lose weight
English Text:
How did {you/SP} try to lose weight?
English Instructions:
HAND CARD WHQ1. CODE ALL THAT APPLY.
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
15 Ate diet foods or products 145 145
. Missing 5899 6044

WHQ080G - Used liquid diet formula to lose weight

Variable Name:
WHQ080G
SAS Label:
Used liquid diet formula to lose weight
English Text:
How did {you/SP} try to lose weight?
English Instructions:
HAND CARD WHQ1. CODE ALL THAT APPLY.
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
16 Used a liquid diet formula such as Slimfast or Optifast 121 121
. Missing 5923 6044

WHQ080H - Joined program to lose weight

Variable Name:
WHQ080H
SAS Label:
Joined program to lose weight
English Text:
How did {you/SP} try to lose weight?
English Instructions:
HAND CARD WHQ1. CODE ALL THAT APPLY.
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
17 Joined a weight loss program such as Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Tops, or Overeaters Anonymous 45 45
. Missing 5999 6044

WHQ080I - Took RX diet pills to lose weight

Variable Name:
WHQ080I
SAS Label:
Took RX diet pills to lose weight
English Text:
How did {you/SP} try to lose weight?
English Instructions:
HAND CARD WHQ1. CODE ALL THAT APPLY.
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
18 Took diet pills prescribed by a doctor 48 48
. Missing 5996 6044

WHQ080J - Took non-RX suppl. to lose weight

Variable Name:
WHQ080J
SAS Label:
Took non-RX suppl. to lose weight
English Text:
How did {you/SP} try to lose weight?
English Instructions:
HAND CARD WHQ1. CODE ALL THAT APPLY.
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
19 Took other pills, medicines, herbs, or supplements not needing a prescription 137 137
. Missing 5907 6044

WHQ080K - Took laxatives to lose weight

Variable Name:
WHQ080K
SAS Label:
Took laxatives to lose weight
English Text:
How did {you/SP} try to lose weight?
English Instructions:
HAND CARD WHQ1. CODE ALL THAT APPLY.
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
20 Took laxatives or vomited 16 16
. Missing 6028 6044

WHD080L - Other methods to lose weight

Variable Name:
WHD080L
SAS Label:
Other methods to lose weight
English Text:
How did {you/SP} try to lose weight?
English Instructions:
HAND CARD WHQ1. CODE ALL THAT APPLY.
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
21 Other (specify) 51 51
. Missing 5993 6044

WHD080M - Drank a lot of water to lose weight

Variable Name:
WHD080M
SAS Label:
Drank a lot of water to lose weight
English Text:
How did {you/SP} try to lose weight?
English Instructions:
HAND CARD WHQ1. CODE ALL THAT APPLY.
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
22 Drank a lot of water to lose weight 14 14
. Missing 6030 6044

WHD080N - Followed a special diet

Variable Name:
WHD080N
SAS Label:
Followed a special diet
English Text:
How did {you/SP} try to lose weight?
English Instructions:
HAND CARD WHQ1. CODE ALL THAT APPLY.
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
23 Followed a special diet 11 11
. Missing 6033 6044

WHQ090 - Tried not to gain weight in past year

Variable Name:
WHQ090
SAS Label:
Tried not to gain weight in past year
English Text:
During the past 12 months, {have you/has SP} done anything to keep from gaining weight?
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
1 Yes 2094 2094
2 No 3927 6021 WHD110
7 Refused 7 6028 WHD110
9 Don't know 11 6039 WHD110
. Missing 5 6044

WHQ100a - Ate less to not gain weight

Variable Name:
WHQ100a
SAS Label:
Ate less to not gain weight
English Text:
What did {you/SP} do to keep from gaining weight?
English Instructions:
HAND CARD WHQ1. CODE ALL THAT APPLY.
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
10 Ate less food (amount) 1370 1370
77 Refused 0 1370
99 Don't know 1 1371
. Missing 4673 6044

WHQ100b - Lowered calories to not gain weight

Variable Name:
WHQ100b
SAS Label:
Lowered calories to not gain weight
English Text:
What did {you/SP} do to keep from gaining weight?
English Instructions:
HAND CARD WHQ1. CODE ALL THAT APPLY.
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
11 Switched to foods with lower calories 719 719
. Missing 5325 6044

WHD100c - Ate less fat to not gain weight

Variable Name:
WHD100c
SAS Label:
Ate less fat to not gain weight
English Text:
What did {you/SP} do to keep from gaining weight?
English Instructions:
HAND CARD WHQ1. CODE ALL THAT APPLY.
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
12 Ate less fat 869 869
. Missing 5175 6044

WHD100d - Exercised

Variable Name:
WHD100d
SAS Label:
Exercised
English Text:
What did {you/SP} do to keep from gaining weight?
English Instructions:
HAND CARD WHQ1. CODE ALL THAT APPLY.
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
13 Exercised 1138 1138
. Missing 4906 6044

WHQ100e - Skipped meals to not gain weight

Variable Name:
WHQ100e
SAS Label:
Skipped meals to not gain weight
English Text:
What did {you/SP} do to keep from gaining weight?
English Instructions:
HAND CARD WHQ1. CODE ALL THAT APPLY.
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
14 Skipped meals 327 327
. Missing 5717 6044

WHD100f - Ate diet foods to not gain weight

Variable Name:
WHD100f
SAS Label:
Ate diet foods to not gain weight
English Text:
What did {you/SP} do to keep from gaining weight?
English Instructions:
HAND CARD WHQ1. CODE ALL THAT APPLY.
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
15 Ate diet foods or products 159 159
. Missing 5885 6044

WHQ100g - Used liquid diet formula to not gain

Variable Name:
WHQ100g
SAS Label:
Used liquid diet formula to not gain
English Text:
What did {you/SP} do to keep from gaining weight?
English Instructions:
HAND CARD WHQ1. CODE ALL THAT APPLY.
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
16 Used a liquid diet formula such as Slimfast or Optifast 102 102
. Missing 5942 6044

WHQ100h - Joined program to not gain weight

Variable Name:
WHQ100h
SAS Label:
Joined program to not gain weight
English Text:
What did {you/SP} do to keep from gaining weight?
English Instructions:
HAND CARD WHQ1. CODE ALL THAT APPLY.
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
17 Joined a weight loss program such as Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Tops, or Overeaters Anonymous 49 49
. Missing 5995 6044

WHQ100i - Took RX diet pills to not gain

Variable Name:
WHQ100i
SAS Label:
Took RX diet pills to not gain
English Text:
What did {you/SP} do to keep from gaining weight?
English Instructions:
HAND CARD WHQ1. CODE ALL THAT APPLY.
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
18 Took diet pills prescribed by a doctor 48 48
. Missing 5996 6044

WHQ100j - Took non-RX suppl. to not gain weight

Variable Name:
WHQ100j
SAS Label:
Took non-RX suppl. to not gain weight
English Text:
What did {you/SP} do to keep from gaining weight?
English Instructions:
HAND CARD WHQ1. CODE ALL THAT APPLY.
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
19 Took other pills, medicines, herbs, or supplements not needing a prescription 122 122
. Missing 5922 6044

WHQ100k - Took laxatives to not gain weight

Variable Name:
WHQ100k
SAS Label:
Took laxatives to not gain weight
English Text:
What did {you/SP} do to keep from gaining weight?
English Instructions:
HAND CARD WHQ1. CODE ALL THAT APPLY.
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
20 Took laxatives or vomited 8 8
. Missing 6036 6044

WHD100l - Other methods to lose weight

Variable Name:
WHD100l
SAS Label:
Other methods to lose weight
English Text:
What did {you/SP} do to keep from gaining weight?
English Instructions:
HAND CARD WHQ1. CODE ALL THAT APPLY.
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
21 Other (specify) 61 61
. Missing 5983 6044

WHD100M - Drank a lot of water to not gain weight

Variable Name:
WHD100M
SAS Label:
Drank a lot of water to not gain weight
English Text:
What did {you/SP} do to keep from gaining weight?
English Instructions:
HAND CARD WHQ1. CODE ALL THAT APPLY.
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
22 Drank a lot of water to not gain weight 13 13
. Missing 6031 6044

WHD100N - Followed a special diet to lose weight

Variable Name:
WHD100N
SAS Label:
Followed a special diet to lose weight
English Text:
What did {you/SP} do to keep from gaining weight?
English Instructions:
HAND CARD WHQ1. CODE ALL THAT APPLY.
Target:
Both males and females 16 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
23 Followed a special diet to not gain weight 11 11
. Missing 6033 6044

WHD110 - Self-reported weight-10 yrs ago (pounds)

Variable Name:
WHD110
SAS Label:
Self-reported weight-10 yrs ago (pounds)
English Text:
How much did {you/SP} weigh 10 years ago? [If you don't know {your/his/her} exact weight, please make your best guess.]
English Instructions:
ENTER WEIGHT IN POUNDS OR KILOGRAMS. IF PREGNANT, ASK FOR WEIGHT BEFORE PREGNANCY.
Target:
Both males and females 36 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
70 to 360 Range of Values 3359 3359
77777 Refused 3 3362
99999 Don't know 56 3418
. Missing 2626 6044

WHD120 - Self-reported weight - age 25 (pounds)

Variable Name:
WHD120
SAS Label:
Self-reported weight - age 25 (pounds)
English Text:
How much did {you/SP} weigh at age 25? [If you don't know {your/his/her} exact weight, please make your best guess.]
English Instructions:
ENTER WEIGHT IN POUNDS OR KILOGRAMS. IF PREGNANT, ASK FOR WEIGHT BEFORE PREGNANCY.
Target:
Both males and females 27 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
66 to 400 Range of Values 4019 4019
77777 Refused 2 4021
99999 Don't know 239 4260
. Missing 1784 6044

WHD130 - Self-reported height - age 25 (inches)

Variable Name:
WHD130
SAS Label:
Self-reported height - age 25 (inches)
English Text:
How tall {were you/was SP} at age 25? [If you don't know {your/his/her} exact height, please make your best guess.]
English Instructions:
ENTER HEIGHT IN FEET AND INCHES OR METERS AND CENTIMETERS
Target:
Both males and females 50 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
39 to 79 Range of Values 2270 2270
7777 Refused 1 2271
9999 Don't know 146 2417
. Missing 3627 6044

WHD140 - Self-reported greatest weight (pounds)

Variable Name:
WHD140
SAS Label:
Self-reported greatest weight (pounds)
English Text:
Up to the present time, what is the most {you have/SP has} ever weighed?
English Instructions:
ENTER WEIGHT IN POUNDS OR KILOGRAMS. DO NOT INCLUDE WEIGHT DURING PREGNANCY.
Target:
Both males and females 18 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
80 to 450 Range of Values 5219 5219
77777 Refused 4 5223
99999 Don't know 220 5443
. Missing 601 6044

WHD150 - Age when heaviest weight

Variable Name:
WHD150
SAS Label:
Age when heaviest weight
English Text:
How old {were you/was SP} then? [If you don't know {your/his/her} exact age, please make your best guess.]
English Instructions:
ENTER AGE IN YEARS
Target:
Both males and females 18 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Hard Edits:
1 to 120
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
10 to 84 Range of Values 5155 5155
85 85 or older 29 5184
77777 Refused 13 5197
99999 Don't know 246 5443
. Missing 601 6044

WHD160 - Least self-reported weight since 18(lbs)

Variable Name:
WHD160
SAS Label:
Least self-reported weight since 18(lbs)
English Text:
What is the least {you/SP} ever weighed since {you were/s/he was} 18?
English Instructions:
ENTER WEIGHT IN POUNDS OR KILOGRAMS. DO NOT INCLUDE WEIGHT DURING PREGNANCY.
Target:
Both males and females 19 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
60 to 345 Range of Values 4874 4874
77777 Refused 1 4875
99999 Don't know 279 5154
. Missing 890 6044

WHD170 - Age when lightest weight

Variable Name:
WHD170
SAS Label:
Age when lightest weight
English Text:
How old {were you/was SP} then? [If you don't know {your/his/her} exact age, please make your best guess.]
English Instructions:
ENTER AGE IN YEARS
Target:
Both males and females 19 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Hard Edits:
1 to 120
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
18 to 84 Range of Values 4837 4837
85 85 or older 27 4864
77777 Refused 11 4875
99999 Don't know 279 5154
. Missing 890 6044