About the study
The Department of Health funded this scoping and analysis
This builds on a scoping study previously undertaken by the Policy Studies Institute. While that earlier work reviewed a range of types of survey data on food-related issues, this report focused specifically on longitudinal sources. The main aims of this project were to:
Identify and describe available sources of longitudinal food-related data (Report 1).
Analyse trends in and predictors of changes in food choices and food behaviours using the data identified, focusing on the impact of life events (Report 2).
Produce a question design toolkit, to help with the design and selection of future survey questions on food-related issues.
Potential policy impact
Better ultilisation of existing survey data is a priority for Government, especially given it is cost effective. Many data valuable for policy development are already in the public domain - a scoping study like this helps to highlight what is available. Longitudinal survey sources - such as those focused on here - have a particular relevance for policy development given they are better placed to tease out causal direction in effects.
A search strategy was developed in liaison with the DH to identify relevant surveys. To be screened in as eligible for this review, surveys had to have:
At least one data point occurring since 1999
Fieldwork in Britain
At least three time points with comparable
Surveys that met these initial inclusion criteria were given a comprehensive evaluation. This involved being rated in five domains; longitudinal design, sample and response, topic coverage, possible measurement error, and data usability. The process yielded six key surveys. Extensive secondary analyses were undertaken.