Food Standards Scotland campaigns against ‘upsizing’

Eating a mountain of chips

Food Standards Scotland (FSS) has launched a new marketing campaign to encourage people in Scotland to say ‘no to upsizing’ more often, as new research reveals that a quarter (23%) of Scots regularly upsize food and drink when eating out of the home – in convenience stores, restaurants, cafes and takeaways.

Upsizing – which refers to taking meal deals, going large and adding sides or extras – can cause people to eat and drink unnecessary extra calories, sugar and fat, in many cases without even thinking about it, says FSS.

One-third of women who eat out in Scotland think they’re encouraged to upsize too often. Around half of all Scots who have ever upsized don’t think about the extra calories that result from this.

What can seem like a small addition or good value for money, can have a wider health impact. As well as upsizing in fast food outlets, also FSS quoted examples as follows:

  • Upsizing from medium to large latte adds 62 calories
  • Adding chocolate brownie to coffee order adds 346 calories
  • Adding a large sugary fizzy drink adds 315 calories

FSS’s new healthy eating marketing campaign is calling on people to think twice when offered the chance to upsize and say #NoToUpsizing more often. FSS will be running the campaign on TV, online and social media, to raise the public’s awareness of the impact of upsizing on their waistlines and their health and help encourage people to make healthier choices when out and about.

Elspeth Macdonald, Deputy Chief Executive at Food Standards Scotland, said: “Upsizing can result in people buying more food and drink than they’d originally intended. It may seem like a good deal, but do you need a larger sugary drink or an extra side?

“These deals are often for unhealthier foods and drinks providing unnecessary extra calories that could contribute to weight gain, obesity and lead to potential health problems in the future.

“Obesity remains one of Scotland’s biggest health concerns – around two-thirds of adults in Scotland are overweight or obese. Yet many people are eating or drinking extra calories, fat and sugar whenever they pop out for something to eat or see a film. Saying no to upsizing could be a positive step towards improving the Scottish diet.”