New research says Catholics in Scotland have a far more unhealthy diet than the rest of the population, but a spokesman for the Church in Scotland said such findings only serve to deepen prejudices.
   The study, by the Medical Research Council and Glasgow University, found that Scots born of Irish Catholic parents eat less fresh fruit and vegetables and more sugary snacks and processed foods. The research concluded that the differences were handed down through the generations and were connected to discrimination in the job market.
   "Catholic men were significantly less likely to eat fruit, yogurt, and vegetables than the rest of the sample," says the report. "Catholic women ate significantly more snacks and processed foods and significantly less non-processed cuts of meat or fish than non-Catholics."
   But Monsignor Tom Connelly said researchers could prove anything given the right sample group. "Some people seem determined to prove that Roman Catholics are a different species," he told The Scotsman.
   He said that, given the integrated nature of society and the widespread problems of heart disease across the whole of Scottish society, isolating Catholics was not helpful.
   "This sort of report trivialises the situation and only serves to deepen prejudices which have largely fallen by the wayside," he said. "It's digging up the past and preserving the divisions and trying to create differences that no longer apply."


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