Charity cake-bake sales should be included in new laws which ban unhealthy foods from being sold in multi-buy deals, a health chief has said.
The Scottish Government wants to bring in a range of restrictions on the way shops sell foods high in sugar, fat and salt.
But one health authority has urged the government to go further – by broadening the rules to include community fundraisers.
As a result, charity bakes, coffee mornings and church fetes could find themselves facing new red tape.
In her response to the Scottish Government’s proposals, Michele McCoy, interim director of public health at Dumfries and Galloway Council and a director at national health improvement agency NHS Health Scotland, said: “Charity bake sales and similar often rely on purchase food high in fat, sugar or salt to make money and this contributes significantly to the culture of over-consumption of the very things we know need to be reduced.
“Community venues, schools and workplaces are key areas where mixed messages should be avoided.”
But her call was criticised as a step too far by Make-A-Wish, a children’s charity which has launched the Bake-A-Wish fundraiser to encourage families to bake.
A spokeswoman said: “There is a wonderful social aspect to bake sales. People do not buy whole tables of cakes but sit down and chat to others.
“They also give children a great feeling of pride to be able to bake and sell at fundraising events to help other children.
“People have plenty of health education today and are aware of how much they can eat to stay within the bounds of healthy eating. Cakes can be part of a balanced diet.”
Cancer Research UK backs the plan to limit multi-buys in shops, but Scots chief Gregor McNie said any move to include charity events would be unrealistic.
“We do not believe it would be reasonable for well-meaning members of the public, often including young children, to be expected to understand any regulations.”