Dietary Intake in Scotland’s Children (DISH) study – Privacy notice

Privacy notice: Dietary Intake in Scotland's Children (DISH) study

Food Standards Scotland (FSS) is known as the data ‘Controller’ of the personal information provided to us.

What information do we hold?

We need to collect and hold personal information around the comprehensive dietary intakes of children and young people aged 2-15 years in Scotland.

The personal information collected will include the following:  

  • The child’s name;
  • The child’s address;
  • The child’s date of birth;
  • The child’s gender;
  • The child’s ethnicity;  
  • The child’s email address;
  • The parent/ guardians email address and mobile phone number.

Why we need it

Food Standards Scotland (FSS) is the public sector food and feed body for Scotland. Our statutory duty is to improve the extent to which members of the public have diets which are conducive to good health.  

We need to collect and process this personal information to understand what children and young people in Scotland are eating and drinking. Data on the diets of children and young people has not been collected for over 10 years in Scotland therefore there is a data gap in our current evidence of the Scottish diet.

This information will enable us to support children and young people to make healthier food and drink choices by:

  • Influencing policy to make improvements to the food and drink environment;
  • Creating relevant and appropriate dietary advice.   

We will not collect any personal data which we do not need.

What is the legal basis for our use of your personal data?

The lawful basis under which we process children and young people data is as follows:

  • To perform our statutory duties carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller (Article 6(1)(e) UK GDPR)
  • Necessary for archiving purposes in the public interest, or scientific and historical research purposes or statistical purposes (Article 9(2)(j) UK GDPR).

Where we get this information from?

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh are leading this study on behalf of Food Standards Scotland.  A market research company based in Glasgow, called Taylor McKenzie, is conducting the survey. Researchers at the University of Aberdeen and Biomathematics & Statistics Scotland are also helping with the study. All participants will be identified for this survey using The Royal Mail’s Postcode Address File (PAF) database which contains all postcodes for households in the United Kingdom. Addresses from the PAF will be compared to the Community Health Index (CHI) records, which is a list of everyone registered within NHS Scotland, by The Scottish Government to determine if a child between 2 and 15 years old lives at the address. These addresses will then be used to invite 20,000 children and young people to take part in the survey.

The short questionnaire in the study, that accompanies the diet questions, will collect information on the child’s name, date of birth, gender, and ethnicity. This information will allow us to explore whether there are any differences, by age and gender, in what children and young people are eating and drinking in Scotland. The short questionnaire may also collect information on the child’s email address if the option is selected for the incentive to be sent directly to them. It will also collect the parent/ guardians email address and mobile phone number so that they can be contacted about the study if requested.

What we do with it

FSS will not have any access to personal data. The University of Edinburgh and their sub processors Taylor McKenzie, the University of Aberdeen, and Biomathematics & Statistics Scotland will process your personal data on our behalf. These organisations are our data processors and can only process your personal data on our instruction or with our agreement for a specified purpose to enable us to maintain, improve and provide our services in order to fulfil our public task. A data protection impact assessment (DPIA) and data processing agreement (DPA) have been completed to ensure that any personal data collected by us or by our data processors on our behalf, is securely protected.

Results from this study will be used in published reports, but these will not contain any information that could identify you or your child. These results may be shared with other government departments, public bodies, and organisations which perform public functions to assist them in the performance of their statutory duties or when it is in the public interest.

Data Retention

The information collected during the survey will be gathered via a secure web link and will be stored in secure computer files which are accessible only to the researchers conducting the study.

Taylor McKenzie will keep your personal information in secure files until the study is completed which will be around one year, after which the data will be deleted with confirmation of deletion sent to FSS. The contact details collected will only be used to contact participants about this study if requested and will be destroyed once letters have been distributed using a file shredder app which overwrites all data.

An anonymised dataset, of the data collected during the study, will be archived on the UK Data Service.  A dataset that does not contain any information that could lead to the child’s identification, and will be stored for a minimum of 10 years.

What are your rights?

You have a right to see the information we hold on you by making a request in writing to the email addresses below. If at any point you believe the information we process on you is incorrect you can request to have it corrected. If you wish to raise a complaint on how we have handled your information, you can contact our Data Protection Officer who will investigate the matter.  

If you are not satisfied with our response or believe we are not processing your information in accordance with the law you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)

Our Data Protection Officer at Food Standards Scotland is the Head of Governance and Infrastructure who can be contacted at the following email address: