Food Standards Scotland (FSS) has launched a consultation on limiting portion sizes, maximum calorie limits and calorie labelling. They are among measures set to be considered for Scotland’s cafes and restaurants as part of the country’s efforts to curb obesity.
Food outlets could be forced to clearly display to customers the nutritional content of each meal and also potentially limit the number of calories they are allowed to provide in one portion under options being considered in a consultation into “out-of-home” eating in Scotland.
FSS said people in Scotland make around 9.5 million visits to “out-of-home” establishments each year.
The consultation also raised the suggestion that deals and promotions should focus on healthier rather than unhealthy options, while half-size portions should be available to those who want to eat a smaller meal.
The consultation document, which hopes to prompt responses from food businesses as well as public sector bodies and food manufacturers, also puts forward the suggestion that recipes could be changed to include healthier and lower calorie ingredients, like reducing fats and sugars and increasing fruit and vegetable intake, as well as beans and pulses for higher fibre content.
The proposals would cover workplace canteens and hotels, as well as cafes, restaurants and pubs. Food delivery services such as Deliveroo and JustEat would also be covered by any new rules to be implemented from the consultation.
It’s been estimated that on average up to 25 per cent of a person’s calories may come from eating out. The typical person eats out three or four times a week in Scotland’s estimated 39,000 “out-of-home” businesses, particularly for breakfast and lunch.
Obesity and diet-related ill health is one of Scotland’s biggest health concerns, costing around £4.6 billion every year, while two-thirds of Scottish adults are classed as obese.