News & Updates

Upsizing habit could lead to upsized waistlines says Food Standards Scotland as it launches a new healthy eating campaign

  • 45% of Scots don’t think about the extra calories from upsizing: going large, buying meal deals or adding sides and extras
  • One-third of women in Scotland feel they are encouraged to upsize too often
  • New Food Standards Scotland marketing campaign encouraging more of us to say #NoToUpsizing launches today

Food Standards Scotland (FSS) is launching a new marketing campaign today, 1 June, 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 restaurants, cafes, shops and takeaways.

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

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. For example, upsizing to a burger meal deal in a fast food restaurant (adding fries and a regular sugary fizzy drink to a single cheeseburger) will add an additional 454 calories, which if eaten every week could lead to a weight gain of 3lbs over the course of a year. Upsizing can add:

  • Adding a portion of onion rings adds 234 calories
  • Upsizing from medium to large latte adds 62 calories
  • Adding chocolate brownie to coffee order adds 346 calories
  • Upsizing from small to large sweet popcorn adds 689 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.

“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.”

For further campaign information and advice on how to make healthier choices when eating out of the home visit the FSS website www.foodstandards.gov.scot or search #NoToUpsizing on social media.

Can you resist the upsize? Play the game to find out!

Can you resist the upsize? Play the game to find out!

Play the Upsizing game. Find out how many calories you could save by saying no!
Warning: This game contains flashing images

Play the NoToUpsizing game! 

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