A Dundee councillor has said proposals to ban “go large” meal deals in takeaways and restaurants would be unfair on struggling families.
Labour Coldside councillor Helen Wright said she had concerns about the proposed move as it would be unfair on poorer families, who often share large portions between them.
She was speaking after the community safety and public protection committee responded to a Food Standards Scotland consultation on out-of-home food with a call for the introduction of “mandatory means” to tackle obesity and associated ill health.
The tough measures proposed by the council include banning “go large” meals and would apply to all cafés, restaurants and takeaways.
There is also a recommendation to make outlets serve smaller portions and print the calorific contents of meals on menus.
Councillors approved the response to the nationwide consultation but Ms Wright said: “I have some concerns.
“I think everybody has a right to choose for themselves and I don’t believe it would be right to ban ‘go large’ meals.
“The reason I’m saying that is because it is not all about calories.
“I’ve seen some families buying three meals and then sharing it between five people.”
Committee convener councillor Alan Ross said: “This is just a consultation. There is no plan to change anything overnight.
“If sometime in the future this did come out we would work with takeaways on it.”
But he added: “We do need to do more to help some families eat more healthily. Issues like obesity and other related conditions need to be tackled and this is the start of that.”
The council’s response to the consultation has also been backed by NHS Tayside, which said promoting healthier foods will help tackle obesity.
West End Labour councillor Richard McCready used the debate to call for the tougher regulations on food delivery services to ensure members of the public are not exposed to any unnecessary hygiene risks.
This call was supported by deputy Lord Provost Bill Campbell.
The West End SNP councillor said he had once been ill for two months because of cryptosporidium.
He said: “I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy. It was two months of bodily fluids defying the laws of physics.
“It’s very important to protect the public.”