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The health of the Scottish population is, and has been for many years, worse than that of the English. Life expectancy is the lowest in the UK, at 77.1 for men and 81.1 for women, and one of the lowest in the OECD. The gap between Scotland and England has grown since 1980. Some of this is clearly attributable to economic disadvantage, but the differences in health status are more pronounced that would be expected on that basis. It has often been suggested that the Scottish diet is to blame.[1] This is particularly so in Glasgow and the Glasgow effect has been the subject of some academic study.



The Health and Sport Committee has called for more action to tackle Scotland’s “obesogenic environment”.


The tobacco control strategy has had a "positive impact". Scottish smoking rates fell from 31% in 2003 to 21% in 2015. There is a socio-economic gradient with 35% of people living in the most deprived areas smoking compared to 10% in the most affluent areas.[2]

Mental healthEdit

There is some evidence that Scottish patients more often seek medical help with stress, anxiety and depression than English patients.[3] To help combat this, Scotland has put in place a Mental Health Strategy. The strategy began in 2016 and will last for ten years. It aims to increase accessibility of mental healthcare towards children and adolescents, improve attitudes towards mental illness, and educate the community. The overall goal is to improve how people in Scotland live, grow, work, and age.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Snacks, fags and booze: Scotland's triple health challenge". Holyrood. 14 September 2017. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
  2. ^ "Scottish anti-smoking strategy shows 'positive impact'". BBC News. 31 August 2017. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
  3. ^ "Depression levels high in Scotland". BBC News. 31 July 2001. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  4. ^ "Mental health and wellbeing". NHS Health Scotland. 17 August 2017. Retrieved 16 September 2017.