School of Social and Political Science

Research project type

Changing food habits and health from infancy to childhood



Research focus

My research looks at childhood food and health inequalities and how these change over time within the context of family factors and social policy. Within this field, I have been developing two related areas:

  • breastfeeding patterns and infant nutrition in relation to social policy
  • toddler’s eating habits in the context of family life

The red thread across my research has been about examining and quantifying the social stratification of poor diets in Scotland using longitudinal analysis of children’s eating habits from infancy to childhood.

For this work I analyse existing survey data from a longitudinal survey of young children in Scotland, and a range of different analytical techniques.

Scotland often leads league tables of childhood obesity and for food-related non communicable diseases. It also has had a range of policy development targeting early years nutrition and public health, so undertaking such research in the Scottish context has been fascinating. 


The past decade to the present day.

Find out more

Skafida V, Treanor, MC (2014) Do changes in objective and subjective family income predict change in children's diets over time? Unique insights using a longitudinal cohort study and fixed effects analysis. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health

Skafida V (2014) Change in breastfeeding patterns in Scotland between 2004 and 2011 and the role of health policyEuropean Journal of Public Health.

Skafida V (2013) The family meal panacea: exploring how different aspects of family meal occurrence, meal habits and meal enjoyment relate to young children's dietsSociology of Health & Illness. [A lay-audience briefing on this research is also available.]

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