Flexible Consumer Behavior Survey
by USDA Economic Research Service
Posted: 2017-10-03 16:04:40 EST

Since 2007, ERS has fielded the Flexible Consumer Behavior Survey (FCBS), which is a consumer behavior module in NCHS's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The survey was designed to collect information on U.S. consumers' knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about nutrition and food choices. NHANES collects a wide variety of health data on the U.S. population by administering household interviews and conducting medical examinations at mobile examination centers. During the medical examination, NHANES also administers a 24-hour dietary recall to obtain information about foods that people ate in the past 24 hours, making it possible to link dietary habits to health outcomes such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. Because NHANES covers a nationally representative sample every year, FCBS data reflect national trends about changing dietary habits, attitudes, and behaviors of U.S. consumers.

The FCBS is a component of both the NHANES household interview and a follow-up telephone interview that is administered 3 to 10 days after an appointment at a mobile examination center. The FCBS household interview questions do not change from one NHANES wave to the next, but the telephone interview was designed to be "flexible" so that new topical questions could occasionally replace older questions.

Data from the first wave (2007-08), second wave (2009-10), third wave (2011-12), and fourth wave (2013-14) of the FCBS are currently available for public use. Data from the fifth wave (2015-16) are forthcoming, and the sixth wave is currently being fielded as part of the 2017-18 NHANES. The FCBS collects a range of information including the following:

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