Dietary patterns of households in Scotland: Differences by level of deprivation and associations with dietary goals

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
15 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Foods tend to be consumed in combinations, and dietary pattern analysis and diet quality scores are often more appropriate methods of assessing overall diet quality than is intakes of individual foods or nutrients.

Aim: To evaluate dietary patterns from food and drink purchases of households in Scotland, and to identify any dietary patterns that were associated with closer adherence to the Revised Dietary Goals for Scotland (RDGS).

Methods: A cross-sectional study of estimated food and drink intakes using Kantar Worldpanel household purchase data in Scotland collected during 2012. The amounts of food and drink purchased were converted to estimated amounts available for consumption per person by adjusting for household waste, household size and composition (n=720). Dietary patterns were identified using Principal Components Analysis. A Diet Quality Index (DQI), based on the RDGS, was calculated.

Results: Mean DQI score was low at 38 out of a possible maximum of 100 indicating that, on average, few of the dietary goals were being met. Six dietary patterns were identified, which explained 35% of the total variance in estimated food and drink intake. Three dietary patterns showed statistically significant associations with lower DQI scores (less healthy diets), and one with significantly higher DQI scores (healthier diets).

Conclusion: Investigating dietary patterns to show which foods tend to be purchased together may assist in targeting dietary habits by focussing on key food groups, and in gaining the greatest improvement in diet quality from the most achievable change in diet.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-35
Number of pages7
JournalNutrition and Health
Issue number1
Early online date11 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

This work was supported by the Scottish Government’s Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services (RESAS) Division.


  • food purchasing
  • dietary patterns
  • diet quality index
  • dietary goals
  • social deprivation


Dive into the research topics of 'Dietary patterns of households in Scotland: Differences by level of deprivation and associations with dietary goals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this