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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.

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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? 

Should ‘Exercise Equivalents’ Be Part of Food Labelling?

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Bert
28th Apr 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
I HAVE GREAT DIFFICULTY IN READING THE INFORMATION NOW.
KeithE3
28th Apr 2016
0
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I think it's worth a try, but the Calorie figure is the defining one.

My wife can eat anything & not put weight on, but I can walk past a cake & put pounds on....
celtwitch
16th Apr 2016
0
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I just eat what I fancy, I rarely consider things like fat content, salt, sugar etc, I just shovel it in and get on with my life. I walk my dog over the hills and ride a bike, my doctor tells me that I'm fit for my age.
Mags 55
13th Apr 2016
2
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I'm surprised that someone hasn't suggested that we are 'microchipped' & 'plugged in' in the morning when we get up & our bodies programmed to eat all the correct food & get the right amount of exercise that is correct for us!!!! Then we wouldn't need to have all the warnings etc on our food!!! ( just kidding of course)!
bud
12th Apr 2016
0
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Many people do not want to hear health warnings and anyone who is physically active is probably well enough informed already. The simple message for everyone is 'eat less processed food'. Responsible retailers need to remove temptations. I can't believe that even Marks and Spencer's ( who we consider to be responsible) can put so many unhealthy temptations in front of the till.

Avoid places like Costa coffee where it's impossible to buy anything that is not stacked with useless calories.
Lionel
13th Apr 2016
0
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Yes Bud, think for ourselves.

When we did the National Health Service could cope. Now the State thinks for us it can't.

Is there something we should be questioning here?
longbow
11th Apr 2016
1
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I'm afraid it is all too complicated, it has to be simplified for it to be successful. Most people will not take the time or indeed have the time to read overcomplicated information. Even the relatively simple traffic light system has not succeeded. It has to start with education in schools, as ever we fail miserably when it comes to teaching life skills in our schools.
Olivia
10th Apr 2016
0
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I am too busy to read exercise suggestions. I walk, do Tai chi, garden, and volunteer to work in our community shop once a week.
Not much time left to do much else.
jeanmark
13th Apr 2016
0
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I don't think such a suggestion is aimed at people like you who already take responsibility for their own health. Unfortunately there are a number of people who don't but I don't think they would read labels anyway. There is so much information that has to be written on labels already, we will soon have to pay for larger packaging to read it all!
Lionel
9th Apr 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
Is it the place of the State to put me on a guilt trip because I enjoy a pint, or occasionally eat a chocolate bar?

Think about all the elements of fear introduced to the population by the State, and ask, why does our nanny state want us, perhaps need us, to live in a state of fear?
jeanmark
13th Apr 2016
0
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Why does the state want us to have healthy options that will help us live longer when they are already complaining about an ageing population?
Lionel
13th Apr 2016
0
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jeanmark, you have a very good point! Could it be the 'healthy options,' are not healthy at all, but will reduce longevity?

State trained nutritionists tell us what is healthy and what is not, as well as just how much of each to each a day. If we now compare their recommendations to, say, those of Adele Davis, the American therapeutic nutritionist writing in the fifties and sixties, we get a very different picture. In fact it's almost the opposite of our state nutritionists!

Compare a man working in the same stream, Andrew Saul. His work naturally follows that of Davis.

I put it to you, and not tongue in cheek, the State doesn't want us to be healthy, none of us. Big Pharma and Big Food pay a lot of tax to the Exchequer. If we were to eat healthy as our bodies are built to do, then Pharma and Food would be in dire straits.

That State has always worked for it's own supremacy and power and not in our interests.
jeanmark
13th Apr 2016
0
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I'm not a conspiracy theorist and believe it is difficult to compare todays nutritional theories with those of the fifties and sixties as things evolve. The problem with modern theories is they change so often and its difficult to know what to believe now we have so much choice. However, I do take your point, there must have been something about fifties and sixties diet for us all to have grown old enough to be a nuisance!
Alicia
7th Apr 2016
3
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I think it would be helpful to people as many do not realise the importance of burning off the calories that they consume. This ignorance results in obesity and ill health.
jeanmark
13th Apr 2016
0
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But that same ignorance will probably mean they won't read the labels.
Lionel
13th Apr 2016
0
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Wilf
7th Apr 2016
2
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Yes I totally agree this can only be a good thing to introduce
Terrysoldgal
7th Apr 2016
2
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I don't think I would ever use these exercise equivalents but some people might find them helpful so why not? They might also help the obesity problem the NHS is having to contend with and save them (and us) money.
violetM
7th Apr 2016
3
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For heavens sake, can't we make our own decisions without the nanny state!
Mags 55
13th Apr 2016
1
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Totally agree with you Violet! People need to take responsibility for themselves - we live in a 'blame' society nowadays.
Lionel
9th Apr 2016
1
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Precisely, exactly and perfectly put. Thank you.
JohnHerb
7th Apr 2016
1
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I do think this is helping society so people realise what they should and should not eat
violetM
7th Apr 2016
1
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Most people know what or what not to eat. We make choices and whether we should exercise or not is also a choice.
Kes
7th Apr 2016
2
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Basic common sense should apply here. Of all information we need on labelling, this is just not necessary, and would just not be applicable to everyone. There is already far too much information on labels as it is. On some products, the labels are larger than the contents. Ridiculous!
jeanmark
13th Apr 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
Totally agree Kes, unfortunately basic common sense does not appear to be part of modern society.
JohnHerb
7th Apr 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
But I think if it helps people get healthy thats a good thing to do
Wilf
7th Apr 2016
1
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Brilliant idea! yes this is great as you can then see exactly how much exercise you need to do to burn off the calories
jeanmark
13th Apr 2016
0
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Sorry Wilf but seeing isn't doing.......
JohnHerb
7th Apr 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
Yes I agree with you on this
thefilthycripple
7th Apr 2016
3
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Whatever happened to adults taking responsibility for their own actions ? We have idiots like Jamie Oliver wanting to dictate to us with the absurd "sugar tax" where coffee companies are excluded despite vast amounts of sugar !
JohnHerb
7th Apr 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
I think we should have more labelling to keep us aware. At least Jamie Oliver gets publicity for all the bad eating and is trying to do something. I totally agree with you regarding sugar in coffee its ridiculous!
Marley444
7th Apr 2016
1
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I think that the number of teaspoons of sugar in food products would be more beneficial. Would have more of an impact.

I think that as we all have different metabolic burn rates, and the total calorific intake needs to be looked at as a whole over a 24 hour period, it may be confusing unless you are counting calories. I have used the app MyFitnessPal before, and because you are monitoring your calorie intake vs your burn rate, then you can see if you add more exercise you can add more food, or more importantly, add more exercise and don't increase the food, if you want to lose weight!
Pam1960
7th Apr 2016
5
Thanks for voting!
I would like to see exercise equivalents on some food labelling such as snacks and sweet foods. We are in danger of information overload if we add too much data to the labels making it confusing for some consumers. I don't think it needs to be on all elements that are used within a meal. Maybe exercise equivalents would be useful per serving in recipes. I personally would find that quite helpful
Wilf
7th Apr 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
Maybe all this information should be put on government websites so we can see it all there. Would make life a lot easier

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