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st: egen and recode, from summary statistics, zero values [SEC: UNCLASSIFIED]

From   "Gosse, Michelle" <>
To   "" <>
Subject   st: egen and recode, from summary statistics, zero values [SEC: UNCLASSIFIED]
Date   Mon, 1 Aug 2011 06:53:40 +1000

Greetings again,

I have a new problem I have been trying to solve with my dataset. I am using Stata 11.2 SE in a networked environment.

I'm still working with my added sugar variable (ADD_SUG). The end outcome is that I need a variable that contains either the actual added sugar intake, or half the non-zero minimum value if the added sugar intake is 0.

Following the SAS code I am translating, I need to find the minimum value of ADD_SUG (excluding zero intakes), and then create a new variable that contains that minimum value for all people in my data (to copy the SAS code I am translating). I have called that new variable min_add_sugar, and the variable r_add_sug is a binary 0/1 variable (0 = person has no added sugar, 1 = person has added sugar). 

I ran this to find the minimum value:
summarize ADD_SUG if r_add_sug != 0

and that worked perfectly.

I can set the value of min_add_sugar correctly for people who have non-zero added sugar (i.e. where r_add_sug = 1) by using:
egen min_add_sugar = min(ADD_SUG) if r_add_sug != 0

however, that means that people with r_add_sug = 0 have a missing value for min_add_sugar.

I tried to fix that by running the following, but I get a syntax error:
recode min_add_sugar = mean(min_add_sugar) if r_add_sug != 0 =exp not allowed r(101);

and this does not work either:
replace min_add_sugar = mean(min_add_sugar) if missing(min_add_sugar) unknown function mean() r(133);

So I thought that I would generate a local variable to store the single value I need, and then generate or recode off that, but I can't make it work either. I was going to use:
local minaddsugar = min(ADD_SUG) if r_add_sug != 0 gen min_add_sugar = minaddsugar

but I get a syntax error on the first line:
local minaddsugar = min(ADD_SUG) if r_add_sug != 0 invalid syntax r(198);

Basically if I could hold (half) the minimum non-zero value for added sugar in memory and then operate on that to create my new "corrected" added sugar variable, that would be the best outcome for me.

How can I do this? In SAS, one can output the value of a function and then operate on that output - I can't seem to do that in Stata.

In addition, if anyone could also suggest a book or website that would be helpful, I would also appreciate that advice. I'm finding this site helpful, but I need examples more similar to my situation


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