PORRIDGE has sustained generations of Scots for several millennia, but the way to eat it has caused arguments for almost as long.

To some, it should be soaked overnight in water and salt and served with nothing more than single cream or milk.

This is how my granny had it every morning throughout her near 90 years on the planet.

But traditionalists tend to choke on their spurtles when someone insists on adding extras like sugar, or heaven forbid, golden syrup on the top.

I once got served porridge in a Highland hotel which had brown sugar on the top and finished off with a blowtorch to give it a bit of crunch.

It was duly sent back to the kitchen as I had not ordered a creme-brulee-like abomination.

Read More: Choosing to deny anti-semitism has frightening parallels

In recent decades, porridge has had a new lease of life as it has become the breakfast of choice again due to its health benefits – albeit from sachets and served with fruit.

However, this is about to change as porridge oats is on the list of foods that are set to be banned in the latest edict from Scotland’s health police based at the ministry of fun.

Also in the firing line are supermarket meal deals which are set to be scrapped under the government plans to tackle Scotland’s obesity crisis.

Ministers have called on crisps and fizzy drinks to be stripped from deals with consumers instead likely to be nudged towards carrot sticks or fruit.

Proposals also include restricting unlimited refills, and evening dine-in deals could also fall victim which health campaigners insist is vital to reduce ill health and ease pressure on the NHS.

But the plans have caused uproar after porridge was included on the list, alongside sugary cereals, soft drinks, cakes and ice creams.

Read More: You're going to need a bigger port: It's not ready for new ferry

Ministers were later forced to clarify that only processed products using porridge oats would be included.

Paul Johnston, chief executive of Public Health Scotland, said: “In Scotland, people living in communities associated with poverty are less likely to have access to affordable, healthy food and are more likely to experience poor health as a result.

“Cost-of-living pressures have put healthier options out of reach for many. Very often, the food that is most accessible and heavily promoted are those most damaging to our health.”

This is a valid point but it fails to address the key issue and that is how will people in deprived areas afford to eat – healthily or otherwise – if you make products more expensive?

During a cost of living crisis things like meal deals come into their own and ensure that people can have at least some nutrition.

Ending cheap food deals just makes more items unaffordable and could see folk go without altogether which would cause even more harm. Stuff like porridge should be actively encouraged and not banned.

Read More: Greyhound racing falls victim to an obsession with bans

It is a fact that people who live in affluent areas are less likely to be obese than those in deprived ones.

Affluent people can afford to eat more healthily and if they want a cheeky cream cake or an M&S evening meal once in a while then they are entitled to do so.

Banning them altogether just penalises everyone and will do nothing to tackle the real problem.

Politicians need to work with retailers to ensure shops in deprived communities have cheaper healthy products.

If that means taxpayer subsidies to retailers then so be it – it’s a price worth paying all round and one that everyone can afford.