This website places cookies on your device to help us improve our service to you. To find out more, see our Privacy and Cookies statement.

Diet and nutrition: low income

In 2007, The UK-wide Low Income Diet and Nutrition Survey (LIDNS) commissioned by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to provide detailed information on food consumption, nutrient intakes, nutritional status and the factors that affect these in low income consumers, found that:

In many respects the areas of dietary concern identified in the low income population were similar to those already identified in the general population, although some were more marked in the LIDNS. Findings included: mean daily intake of protein, saturated fat and non-milk extrinsic sugars (NMES) in excess of recommended levels, whilst fruit and vegetable consumption fell below recommended levels.

In 2014, Food Standards Scotland published Scotland National Diet and Nutrition Survey estimating food consumption, nutrient intake and nutritional status of the general population aged 18 months upwards living in Scotland. A breakdown by equivalised household income is also reported with a summary of the key findings reported below:

  • The lowest income group had a lower consumption of fruits and vegetables, fibre and some vitamins and minerals and a higher consumption of NMES in children.

  • Mean consumption of ‘soft drinks’ (non-diet) was significantly higher in the lowest income quintile compared with the highest income quintile for children aged 11 to 18 years and adults aged 19 to 64 years.


Scotland Findings

The Scotland National Diet and Nutrition Survey reported the following key findings:

  • Intakes of key foods and nutrients were generally very similar in Scotland to those in the UK as a whole.

  • The only consistent differences in intakes across the age/sex groups were for vegetables and fibre which were slightly lower in Scotland compared to the UK.

  • The findings confirm that both the Scotland and UK population is consuming too much saturated fat, non-milk extrinsic sugars (NMES) (also known as ‘added sugars’ or ‘free sugars’) and salt and not enough fruit and vegetables, oil rich fish and non-starch polysaccharides (NSP; a measure of fibre).

Please note: If you require the most up-to-date data available, please check the data sources directly as new data may have been published since these data pages were last updated. Although we endeavour to ensure that the data pages are kept up-to-date, there may be a time lag between new data being published and the relevant ScotPHO web pages being updated.

Page last updated: 12 September 2017

© Scottish Public Health Observatory 2014