Scottish Health Survey 2018: summary report

Key findings from the Scottish Health Survey 2018 report.

This document is part of a collection

Chapter 5 Diet

In 2018, 22% of adults met the 5-a-day recommendation, which is fairly consistent with results since 2003. 10% did not consume any fruit or vegetables on previous day.

15% of children met the 5-a-day recommendation. 10% of children did not consume any fruit or vegetables on previous day.

Average consumption of fruit and vegetables has also remained fairly constant since 2008.

  • Adults 3.2 portions
  • Children 2.8 portions

Non-diet soft drink consumption has fallen considerably for both adults and children.

In 2018, 10% of adults consumed sugary drinks every day, down from 20% in 2016.

In 2017/2018, 16% of children aged 2-15 consumed non-diet soft drinks daily, down from 35% in 2015/2016 and 38-39% in the years 2008/2009 to 2013/2014.

Adult consumption of biscuits (at least once a day) and of cakes (two or more times a week) has been declining since 2014.


  • 31% in 2014
  • 27% in 2018


  • 34% in 2014
  • 31% in 2018

9% of adults experienced food insecurity in 2018 (as defined by being worried during the past 12 months that they would run out of food due to lack of money or resources).

6% of all adults also said they had eaten less than they should for this reason, while 3% of adults said that they had actually run out of food because of a lack of resources.

In 2017/2018, the household types most likely to have experienced food insecurity were single parents and adults below the age of 65 living alone:

  • 25% of single parents
  • 21% of adults aged under 65 living alone

In 2017/2018, 16% of adults in the most deprived areas reported being worried about running out of food, compared with 4% in the least deprived areas.

In 2017/2018, mental wellbeing was substantially lower for those reporting food insecurity: mean WEMWBS score of 42.2 compared with 50.3 for other adults.



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