OBESITY campaigners have urged the Scottish Government to press ahead with a bill to ban multi-buy offers on junk food.

Ministers previously promised legislation to ban cut-price offers on high-sugar high-fat food with ­little ­nutritional value – but this was paused last June due to the pandemic.

Cancer Research UK said being overweight or obese was the second biggest preventable cause of cancer in Scotland after smoking, and is ­responsible for around 2200 cases annually.

A YouGov poll commissioned by the charity indicates eight in 10 ­people think “buy one get one free” deals makes people more likely to fill their baskets with junk.

Almost two-thirds of Scots are overweight or obese, according to Food Standards Scotland.

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Behavioural scientist ­professor ­Linda Bauld, the charity’s ­cancer ­prevention expert, said the ­Government has a “significant role here, to protect the health of future generations by supporting people to choose healthier options in their weekly food shop”. The public health specialist added: “We know that supermarket cut-price and multi-buy offers are a big ­influence on what we buy, ­encouraging people to stock up on high calorie food with no nutritional value.

“It’s time for the Scottish Government to once again forge ahead with this legislation which would do a great deal to improve the nation’s health.

“Any hold-up in introducing these measures will be at the expense of our nation’s life chances, as well as adding to the ever-growing burden on the NHS.”

The Scottish Pantry Network, a ­social enterprise providing affordable healthy food at seven locations across Glasgow, backed the calls.

Its co-founder, SNP councillor ­Mandy Morgan, said: “Everyone should be able to access quality food, no matter where they live or how much money they have.

“Our pantries offer that option for some of the most deprived communities in Glasgow, but we want to start a wider conversation about the affordability of food and how that influences the choices we make in our diets.”