UK Women's Cohort Study

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Food Science & Nutrition

Investigating associations between diet and health

UK Women's Cohort Study

The UK Women’s Cohort Study is one of the largest cohort studies investigating associations between diet and cancer in the UK.

A large cohort of over 35,000 middle aged women has been created encompassing a wide range of different eating patterns, including diets currently of interest to research into protection against cancer and coronary heart disease. Women in the cohort are health conscious with only 11% current smokers and 58% taking dietary supplements. 28% of the subjects self-report being vegetarian and 1% vegan.

Participants are regularly followed up to study the effects of different food and nutrient intakes on long-term health outcomes.

Latest News

New research published on the geography of diet in UKWCS

7 April 2016
New research has been published which looks at geographical patterns of consumption in the UKWCS. Diet can influence health outcomes and chronic disease risk, therefore a better understanding of factors influencing diet is important in promotion of healthier dietary choices. Many factors influence food choice, including the environment in which we live.

Outcomes of the research include:

  • The North West of England has the highest proportion of individuals consuming the least healthy, monotonous diets.
  • Greater London has the highest proportion of vegetarian diets.
  • People living in the ‘Countryside’ and ‘Prospering Suburbs’ consume healthier, more diverse diets.
  • Those who live in ‘Constrained by Circumstance’ and ‘Blue Collar Communities’ consume monotonous, less healthy diets.
  • A combination of different geographical levels of analysis could have a beneficial impact on targeting of public health dietary interventions and subsequent health.


See the full paper 'Geography of Diet in the UK Women’s Cohort Study: A Cross-Sectional Analysis'

New UKWCS research published - Fidgeting can be good for you

23 September 2015
New research suggests that the movements involved in fidgeting may counteract the adverse health impacts of sitting for long periods.

Find out more ›

Fidgeting study interview

29 September 2015
The Naked Scientists have interviewed Professor Janet Cade from the University of Leeds about her research with Dr Gareth Hagger-Johnson from UCL on fidgeting.

You can listen to the interview here ›

You can find out more about the study here ›