Almost one in two Scots (45%) don’t think about the extra calories from upsizing – going large, buying meal deals or adding sides and extras.
Research by Food Standards Scotland, launched at the start of its #NoToUpsizing campaign, also found that one third of women in Scotland feel they are encouraged to upsize too often when they eat out.
Almost a quarter (23%) of Scots regularly upsize food and drink when eating out of the home – in restaurants, cafés, shops and takeaways.
Elspeth Macdonald, deputy chief executive at FSS said the deals are often for unhealthier foods and drinks.
The campaign website reads: “Many restaurants and cafés might try to encourage you to buy just that little bit more than you wanted to. It might be good business for them, but it’s not great for you as you end up spending more than you intended to, while taking on all those extra calories. There’s nothing wrong with saying ‘no thanks’.”
Research by Public Health England, published in March, showed that 59% of consumers want “supersize” offers banned. Hospitals have already begun to ditch the deals.
FSS said upsizing to a burger meal deal in a fast food restaurant (adding fries and a regular sugary fizzy drink to a single cheeseburger, for example) could add an additional 454 calories, which if eaten every week could lead to a weight gain of 3lbs over the course of a year.
It also published data showing that a portion of onion rings adds 234 calories and going from a medium to large latte brings an extra 62 calories.
Supermarkets were recently criticised for including super-sized drinks in their lunchtime meal deals, whilst the Soil Association’s Out to Lunch report found many restaurant chains were using their children’s menus to “dish up super-sized calorific junk”.