Always saying ‘yes’ to upsizing can tip the scales and create a weighty problem says Food Standards Scotland

  • Food Standards Scotland’s healthy eating marketing campaign encourages people in Scotland to say ‘no’ to upsized food and drink offers
  • Going from a small cheeseburger meal to a large cheeseburger meal with a regular side of onion rings, and a small latte to a large latte with chocolate brownie could mean having an extra 1500 calories each week. This is equivalent to 10lb weight gain in one year
  • Adding starters and sides can add more calories than you want or need - a portion of nachos could add  more than 800 additional calories, and a side of garlic bread with cheese could add more than 500 calories

Food Standards Scotland’s ‘No to Upsizing’ marketing campaign, launched today (5 March), is urging people in Scotland to be aware of the extra calories that can accumulate by consistently saying ‘yes’ to upsized offers on food and drinks.

‘Upsizing’ or ‘upselling’ – going large, adding a side order, making it a meal or adding extras – can lead to us eating and drinking extra calories, without thinking about it.

Saying ‘yes’ to upsizing a cheeseburger meal, with fries and a sugary fizzy drink, adding a side of onion rings, and saying ‘yes’ to making your coffee large with an extra brownie, could add an additional 1500 calories* each week. Assuming no compensation (e.g. eating less on other occasions or increasing activity)  to offset these additional calories, the  average weight gain could be around 10lb over a year. Year-on-year weight gain risks tipping the scales into overweight and obesity.

Heather Peace, Head of Public Health Nutrition at Food Standards Scotland, said:

“Overweight and obesity is a major health issue for Scotland and it’s something that should concern us all. It surprising how easy it is to put on extra weight without us realising.By being more conscious of the times we are being upsold to, we will feel more comfortable to say ‘no’ more often, as it’s an easy way to avoid extra calorie intake.

“These offers are common in restaurants, cafes and cinemas, and we understand that they’re often seen as good value for money. But by frequently saying ‘yes’ to upsizing, there could be a long-term cost to your health..”

Minister for Public Health, Joe FitzPatrick, said:

“I welcome the Food Standards Scotland campaign to raise awareness of upsizing and upselling and helping consumers make informed choices.

“We want to make it easier for people to make healthier decisions and reduce the harms that can be associated with poor diet and excess weight.”