Dundee City Council wants to ban “go large” meal deals in restaurants and takeaways in a bid to combat obesity and weight-related illnesses.
The community safety and public protection committee’s draft response to a Food Standards Scotland consultation says “mandatory means” are necessary to tackle obesity and associated ill health.
The tough measures proposed by the council would apply to all cafes, restaurants and takeaways.
It also wants to make outlets serve smaller portions and print the calorific contents of meals on menus.
Councillors will be asked to approve the response to the consultation on improving the “out of home food environment” on Monday.
A report to the committee says: “The typical Scottish diet is too high in calories, fats, sugars and salt, which can impact adversely on our health.
“Diet related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers can seriously affect individuals, families and communities, as well as the nation’s economy and productivity.”
In its response to the consultation, the council says calorie labelling should become compulsory.
It also says food inspectors employed by councils can be trained to carry out checks.
“Businesses need to cease practices that encourage over-consumption,” the report says.
“This will require defining carefully which practices encourage over eating. Multi-packs and ‘go large’ promotions on meals and drinks should be banned. Healthy meal deals could be promoted.”
Committee convener councillor Alan Ross said: “Basically, we are trying to promote healthier lifestyle choices.
“It’s about people living longer, reducing the strain on the NHS and the benefits eating healthily.”
NHS Tayside dietetic consultant in public health nutrition Joyce Thompson said: “NHS Tayside is aware that food eaten outside the home currently makes up a significant part of people’s diets and therefore welcomes the Food Standards Scotland’s consultation on proposals to improve the out of home food environment.
“The proposals, which include consideration of portion sizes, calorie information on the menus, improving quality of food sold out of home, and shifting marketing and promotion strategies from unhealthy products to healthier options, offer important steps in the solution to tackle overweight and obesity.”
Jonathon Clark, owner of Clarks bakery, said he would comply with any new rules but did not think mandatory calorie labelling “makes much sense”.
He said: “We have a salad bar at the front of our shops and have tried to promote healthier eating in our shops.
“I don’t think it makes much sense – if somebody wants to eat something healthy they’ll make it themselves at home.
“If it’s a rainy day then we are at our busiest as people want comfort food.”
The proposal has emerged just weeks after American chain Fatburger opened a branch on Dundee’s Reform Street.
The business is famed for its quadruple Fatburger challenge, comprising a meaty tower of four burgers sandwiched in a brioche bun with mustard, relish, onion, pickles, tomato, lettuce and mayonnaise.