Data from the Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance System for Selected Metropolitan Area Risk Trends (SMART) for 2002-2010 were accessed from The version of the data that we will use in this class can be found here.


2002-2010. BRFSS SMART County Prevalence land line only data. The Selected Metropolitan Area Risk Trends (SMART) project uses the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) to analyze the data of selected counties with 500 or more respondents. BRFSS data can be used to identify emerging health problems, establish and track health objectives, and develop and evaluate public health policies and programs. BRFSS is a continuous, state-based surveillance system that collects information about modifiable risk factors for chronic diseases and other leading causes of death. Data will be updated annually as it becomes available. Detailed information on sampling methodology and quality assurance can be found on the BRFSS website.

Methodology info


Data acquisition and description

Data on restaurant inspection results are publicly available at The specific data to be used in this class, linked to at the top of this page, was accessed in September 2018 using the code below.


var_names = GET("") %>%
  content("text") %>%
  fromJSON() %>% 
  .[["columns"]] %>% 
  .[["name"]] %>% 

brfss_smart2010 = 
  GET("") %>% 
  content("text") %>%
  fromJSON() %>% 

row_as_tibble = function(row_as_list, var_names) {
  var_list = row_as_list[9:30]
  names(var_list) = var_names 
  var_list[sapply(var_list, is.null)] <- NULL
  as_tibble(var_list, validate = FALSE)

brfss_smart2010 = 
  brfss_smart2010 %>% 
  map(.x = ., ~row_as_tibble(.x, var_names)) %>% 

The dataset contains roughly 134,000 rows and 21 columns. There is information on lcoation, topic, question, response, and response number. The data is structured so that each (multiple-choice) response to each question is a separate row. A complete data dictionary is linked above.