Should food labels show physical activity equivalents?

by Oct 11, 2017Health, Nutrition, Wellness0 comments


The thinking behind this initiative is that people will have the ability to compare the food they are thinking of buying to the amount of exercise they will have to do to burn it off.
The suggestion is that labeling foods with the amount of physical activity needed to burn off the calories consumed is touted as the next big thing in the struggle to trim our waistlines.

Strong links to obesity

Those that have recommended this programme suggest that the labeling equivalents be added to products such as energy dense food and drinks which have strong links to obesity.
The proponents of this idea state, they would rather see this type of labeling on products which are high in energy rather than otherwise healthy foods. 

And here’s the clincher for me, they go on to say; “we don’t want to put extra guilt on people who can’t exercise or who might attached guilt to food”.

Further to that it is suggested limiting the labels to sugary drinks and alcoholic beverages. It would be really useful to people to know how much extra they need to move if they consume those drinks instead of water. 
You’ll need to run for 13 minutes to burn off a can of soft drink and about 16 minutes for a glass of wine. 
Is this enough to make you switch to water?

The counter argument is that it;s too straight forward – assessing a product on it’s calorie count doesn’t take into account it’s nutritional value. 
The nutrition panel and health star rating look as a selection of nutrients like protein, fibre, saturated fat, sugar, as well as energy, but when it comes to activity, you’re only talking about energy, so its just one small part of what’s in food. Further more, not all calories are created equal. 300 calories of vegetables provide numerous nutritional benefits whereas 300 calories of potatoes chips provide very little in the way of goodness.

So where do you stand – is it a good thing or is it a bad thing?

Would love to hear your comments…..

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