Scotland deep-fries just about everything

If you’re tired of hearing how unhealthy the average American diet is these days, let’s stop for a moment and consider Scotland. According to a report in National Geographic News (NGN), Scotland appears to be the Mecca of the deep-fried well, just about anything.

When two health officials in the UK heard that Scottish fast food shops were serving deep-fried candy bars, they prepared a survey to find out if this was myth or fact.

Their conclusion: The deep-fried Mars bar is all too real. (Milky Way is marketed as the “Mars bar” in the UK.)

Dr. Mark Petticrew and Dr. David Morrison canvassed nearly 300 fish and chips shops and found the fried Mars bar available in about one out of every four. Other findings:

  • The deep-fried treat delivers more than 400 calories
  • Some shops sell more than 200 bars per week
  • Three-quarters of fried Mars bars buyers are children
  • Some shops also offer fried pineapple rings, bananas, pickled eggs and ice cream

In the face of these nutritional disasters, Dr. Petticrew told NGN that he was at least encouraged to find evidence of the Mediterranean diet offered in the fast food shops: deep-fried pizza. He appeared to be joking, but in Scotland a deep-fried slice of pizza just might pass for health food.

The NGN notes that among developed countries, Scotland ranks as one of the highest in heart disease, strokes and cancer. Scots also have the lowest life expectancy and the highest premature death rate from coronary heart disease than any other country in the world.

“Deep-Fried Candy Bars: Scotland’s Worst Food?” James Owen, National Geographic News, 12/28/04,