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Identifying dietary differences between Scotland and England: a rapid review of the literature

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Viviana AlbaniORCiD, Dr Wendy Wrieden



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Copyright © The Authors 2017 This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Objective: Rates of premature mortality have been higher in Scotland than in England since the 1970s. Given the known association of diet with chronic disease, the study objective was to identify and synthesise evidence on current and historical differences in food and nutrient intakes in Scotland and England. Design: A rapid review of the peer-reviewed and grey literature was carried out. After an initial scoping search, Medline, CINAHL, Embase and Web of Science were searched. Relevant grey literature was also included. Inclusion criteria were: any date; measures of dietary intake; representative populations; cross-sectional or observational cohort studies; and English-language publications. Study quality was assessed using the Quality Assessment Tool for Observational Cohort and Cross-sectional Studies. A narrative synthesis of extracted information was conducted. Results: Fifty publications and reports were included in the review. Results indicated that children and adults in Scotland had lower intakes of vegetables and vitamins compared with those living in England. Higher intakes of salt in Scotland were also identified. Data were limited by small Scottish samples, difficulty in finding England-level data, lack of statistical testing and adjustment for key confounders. Conclusions: Further investigation of adequately powered and analysed surveys is required to examine more fully dietary differences between Scotland and England. This would provide greater insight into potential causes of excess mortality in Scotland compared with England and suitable policy recommendations to address these inequalities.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Chambers S, Barton KL, Albani V, Anderson AS, Wrieden WL

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Public Health Nutrition

Year: 2017

Volume: 20

Issue: 14

Pages: 2459-2477

Print publication date: 01/10/2017

Online publication date: 20/07/2017

Acceptance date: 25/05/2017

Date deposited: 09/08/2017

ISSN (print): 1368-9800

ISSN (electronic): 1475-2727

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


DOI: 10.1017/S1368980017001380


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Funder referenceFunder name
Medical Research Council Strategic Award (grant number MC_PC_13027)