Background/Aim: The role of diet as the cause of acute pancreatitis (AP) has been suggested. The aim of the current review was to determine if there exists sufficient evidence linking nutrition, or the lack of it, to the pathogenesis of AP. Patients and Methods: A systematic search of the scientific literature was carried out using Embase, PubMed, MEDLINE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials for the years 1965 - 2011 to obtain access to studies involving dietary factors and the pathogenesis of AP. Results: A total of 17 studies were identified describing diet and AP. These included 12 human and 5 animal studies. 8 reports were found to link malnutrition and/or refeeding to the pathogenesis of AP. Two studies found an increased consumption of fats and proteins in patients with alcohol-related AP while 1 study noted a lesser intake of carbohydrate in patients. However, none of these differences attained statistical significance. A recent prospective case-control study found a significantly higher risk for AP amongst patients eating par-boiled rice and fresh water fish. Conclusions: Evidence from literature does not appear to support the role of diet as a single bolus meal as a cause for AP. Prolonged consumption of diets rich in proteins and fats may work synergistically with gallstones / alcohol to trigger an attack of AP indicating a possible role of diet as a cofactor in the development of AP possibly by lowering the threshold needed by these other agents to lead to the attack of AP.