Should ‘Exercise Equivalents’ Be Part of Food Labelling?

There is a new initiative being investigated which says that food should be labelled with how much exercise is needed to burn off the calories, because current nutritional information on packaging is confusing. 

Britain’s Royal Society of Public Health says polling shows more than half of people would choose healthier products, eat less or do more exercise if they saw “activity calories’’ on the packaging.

“The public is used to being told to avoid particular drinks and to cut down on specific foods. By contrast, activity labelling encourages people to start something, rather than calling for them to stop,” the society’s chief executive Shirley Cramer said.

However, she said “activity equivalent’’ labelling would make people more mindful of food they were consuming and how the calories impacted their lives while encouraging exercise.

If they see it takes 20 minutes of walking to burn off the calories in a chocolate biscuit, they might justify that food choice because they are taking a walk that evening.


What are your views?  Do you find current food packaging nutrition data confusing? Would ‘activity labelling’ encourage you to exercise more?  If you were more aware of the activity required to burn off calories would it impact your food choices? Would you take that extra bit of exercise to justify you eating a biscuit? 

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