Free Poppadoms And Prawn Crackers Could Be Banned In Obesity Crackdown

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I don’t know about you, but the best part of getting a well-deserved (meh) takeaway on a Saturday night (okay, maybe Tuesday) is definitely the freebies you get with it.

I can guarantee you I’ll spend an extra fiver just so I can get free prawn crackers, a bottle of coke or some poppadoms.

Which kind of defeats the object, but there you go. You cannot and will not convince me otherwise.

Anyway, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the days of free sides with your main meals could be coming to an end…

The Scottish Government unveiled plans yesterday (October 2) to ban the promotions, stating:

In seeking to reduce population-level intakes of calories, fat, saturated fat, free sugar and salt, we are seeking views on restricting the promotion and marketing of food and drink high in fat, sugar or salt with little or no beneficial nutritional value where they are sold to the public.

According to the paper, they’re aiming to restrict and target ‘discretionary’ foods, including confectionary, cakes and savoury snacks.

Savoury snacks, they say, include but are not restricted to corn snacks, wheat snacks, prawn crackers and poppadoms.

The news comes after it emerged 29 per cent of people aged 16 or above in Scotland are obese and a further 36 per cent are overweight.

Overweight Man Sitting With Take-Away FoodGetty

Public Health Minister, Joe Fitzpatrick said:

Far too many people in Scotland face serious risks to their health linked to poor diet and unhealthy weight. This is unacceptable and it’s largely avoidable.

Scotland has a proud history of taking decisive action on public health and this is the next step in that journey, turning our attention to the nation’s diet and weight.

Which, to be fair, makes sense because clearly there’s an obesity problem which needs to be resolved. But I’m not sure how banning freebies is going to help – people are still going to order from takeaways and they’ll probably fork out the extra £1 to buy a bag of prawn crackers.

It appears the people of Scotland aren’t happy about this either – one angry tweeter wrote:

First put a minimum price on my @TennentsLager, then they bump up the tax on my @irnbru, now the Scottish Government want to ban my free poppadoms and prawn crackers?!?! [sic]

This is not on!! The No Fun Police that is our government must be stopped!!!!! [sic]

While another said:

First they came for working class fitbaw fans then the cheap bevvy and even the sugar out our Irn Bru. Now it’s our free prawn crackers & deals on sweeties. [sic]

This Scottish government won’t be happy till we’re aw eating saltires made of lettuce the *****. Do some real work. [sic]

And another suggested the plans wouldn’t work:

when will the government realise that ‘banning’ free prawn crackers from takeaways or moving multibuy sections in supermarkets out of visibility will NOT stop people buying them nor tackle the issue of obesity!!! [sic]

It appears the Scottish Government haven’t fully made up their minds on what this policy will entail, as conflicting views are being expressed.

A Scottish Government spokesperson last night claimed poppadoms and prawn crackers would be classed as part of a main meal, and therefore would not be banned – despite there being no such mention of an exemption in the consultation document.

They said, as per the Mirror:

We’re not looking to make restrictions in relation to main meals and it is not our intention to restrict restaurants from including savoury foods, such as prawn crackers or poppadoms, as part of meals.

I say as long as we don’t get too ridiculous and aren’t eating five bags of prawn crackers every time we get a takeaway, we’ll be ‘reet.

Everything in moderation, surely?

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Lucy Connolly

Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).