Valeria Skafida
Dr Valeria Skafida
Senior Lecturer in Social Policy
Social Policy School of Social and Political Science
University of Edinburgh
Chrystal Macmillan Building Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
0131 651 3215
Policy Social capital Anthropology of food sociology of food food Public health Children and childhood families Social Inequality Nutrition Quantitative Methods Social surveys Longitudinal Analysis Sociology of health and illness Health policy Scotland Domestic Violence


PhD (2011) Social Policy, University of Edinburgh

MSc by Research with distinction (2007), University of Edinburgh

MA (Joint Honours) Social Policy & Social Anthropology (2006), University of Edinburgh


Course organiser and key lecturer: Mathematics for Social Science (UG), Digesting Food Policy (UG). 

I contribute guest lectures to: Evidence Policy and Politics; Social Life of Food.

I have previously been course-organiser for Social Inequality and Social Protection; Social Inequality and the Life Course (UG); and Programme Director for the MSc in Policy Studies and the MSc in Comparative Public Policy.

PhD Student Supervision

Zain Kurdi, PhD candidate in Social Policy - Thesis topic: Critical Transitions & Children’s Food Trajectories: Understanding how eating habits change from infancy to the teenage years and the role of key changes in children’s lives.

Fei Wang, PhD candidate in Social Policy - Thesis topic: Income inequality in old age in China - a study using longitudinal survey data.

Andrea Fuentes, PhD candidate in Centre for Population Health Sciences - Thesis topic: Assessing the relationship between local food environments and obesity in the Scottish population

Rhodri Leng, PhD candidate in Science & Technology Studies - Thesis topic: Vicissitudes of Controversy: A metaknowledge study of the diet – heart saga. (*completed*)

Esthir Tzivelopoulou, PhD candidate in Social Policy - Thesis topic: A comparative study of the development and implementation of English and Scottish educational policies for gifted and talented pupils. (*completed*)


Journal Articles

  • Skafida V & Chambers S (2017) Positive association between sugar consumption and dental decay prevalence independent of oral hygiene in pre-school children: a longitudinal prospective study. Journal of Public Health DOI Link
  • Skafida V (2014) Change in breastfeeding patterns in Scotland between 2004 and 2011 and the role of health policy. European Journal of Public Health DOI Link
  • 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 HealthDOI Link
  • 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 diets. Sociology of Health & Illness DOI Link
  • Skafida V, Silver K E, Rechel BP, Gilmore AB (2012) Change in tobacco excise policy in Bulgaria: the role of tobacco industry lobbying and smuggling. Tobacco Control DOI Link
  • Skafida V (2011) Juggling work and motherhood: The impact of employment and maternity leave on breastfeeding duration - a survival analysis on Growing Up in Scotland Data. Maternal and Child Health Journal 16(12):519-527 DOI Link
  • Skafida V (2009) The relative importance of social class and maternal education for breast-feeding initiation. Public Health Nutrition, 12(12):2285-2292 DOI Link

Other publications

  • Skafida V (2014) 'Changes in Scottish infant feeding policy and breastfeeding habits between 2004 and 2011' Research Briefing 71, Centre for Research on Families and Relationships, University of Edinburgh. [link]
  • Skafida V (2012) 'Construing or misconstruing families in research and the media' in Jamieson L, Simpson R, Lewis R (eds) Researching Families and Relationships: Reflections on Process. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Skafida V (2012) ‘Is there something special about family meals? Exploring how family meal habits relate to young children’s diets', Research Briefing 62, Centre for Research on Families and Relationships, University of Edinburgh. [link]
  • Skafida V (2011), ‘Construing or misconstruing families in research and the media’ in Jamieson, L., Simpson, R., Lewis, R. (eds.) Researching Families and Relationships: Reflections on Process. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.(p172-174). [link]
  • Skafida V (2010), ‘Wise advice: Exploring how parental use of formal and informal healthy eating advice affects children’s diets’ (conference abstract) European Journal of Public Health 20(Supplement 1):45
  • Marryat L, Skafida V & Webster C (2009), 'Growing Up in Scotland: Sweep 3 Food and Activity Report', ScotCen for the Scottish Government: Children, Young People & Social Care
  • Skafida V (2008), 'Breastfeeding in Scotland: the impact of advice for mothers', Research Briefing 36, Centre for Research on Families and Relationships, University of Edinburgh. [link]


  • Nuffield Foundation.V Skafida(PI), F Morrison, J Devaney. Project title: Children living with domestic violence – understanding the effects on children’s wellbeing using longitudinal data.(Oct 2019 - Sep 2022. Project page:

  • European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). Prof M Belot(PI), J James, V Skafida(Co-I) Project title: “Nudge-it”: The Neurobiology of Decision-Making in Eating - Innovative Tools Work Package 7: ‘Behavioural economics and dietary choices’ (Jan 2014 - Dec 2018)

  • British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. V Skafida(PI) Project title: An appetite for life? Changing food habits and health from infancy to childhood in the context of family life in Scotland (Jan 2012 - Dec 2014)

  • British Academy Early Career Regional Event Call. Dr. AH Schakel (Co-PI), Dr. V Skafida(Co-PI), Dr W Swenden Project title:What will happen after the Scottish referendum on independence? (Jun 2014)

Other professional activities