There are no so-called 'food deserts' - areas where people have little or no access to groceries - in Scotland, according to a Food Standards Agency study.

FSA Scotland compiled a database of nearly 6,000 supermarkets and convenience stores across Scotland to assess how easy it was for people to get to them.

It found the entire Scottish population was able to access to a food store of some kind. Sixty per cent of people lived within two thirds of a mile of a medium to large-sized supermarket, with just 5% living more than six miles away from such an outlet.

The study also found there was a greater density of grocery stores, particularly convenience stores, in deprived areas compared with affluent zones.

In a report outlining the research - Accessing Healthy Food: A Sentinel Mapping Study of Healthy Food Retailing in Scotland - FSA Scotland said: "The presence of food deserts, which has been the subject of debate in the media and popular press, is not supported by the data in this project."

However, researchers did find healthy food was more expensive in areas of economic deprivation.

And they discovered that the quantity of healthy foods available decreased as the level of deprivation increased.

The FSA recommended the government encourage convenience stores to increase the range of healthy foods they stocked.

They also called for more research into the "substantial price differentials of healthy food" in different parts of Scotland.