BY: SWIKAR OLI
The Royal Society for Public Health, a leading independent British public health charity, is calling for food to come with packaging labels showing the amount of activity required to burn the calories it contains.
The updated packages would show stick figures running, cycling and swimming, each with corresponding minutes that show how long the activity would need to be performed in order to burn off the food’s or drink’s calories. Per Guardian, a 171-calorie bag of chips, using British Heart Foundation figures for activity, requires 19 minutes of jogging, 23 minutes of cycling or 13 minutes of swimming. For a sugary soda, they report the amount of activity required is 15, 23 and 13 minutes, respectively.
The RSPH wants food products to have labels on them showing the physical activity required to burn off junk food.
All food comes with information about its caloric content but what the numbers may mean is confusing to many buyers, RSPH says. In fact, they tend to look at the label for six seconds on average. With “activity equivalent” labeling, the group hopes consumers make more health-conscious decisions while shopping. The change also seeks to inform people who underestimate the amount of activity required to burn off junk food. Most buyers may not know, for example, that a standard chocolate bar takes a 42-minute walk to burn off.
RSPH’s survey of 2,000 adults found that 60 per cent of them would favour the activity equivalent labels, and 53 per cent of those surveyed said the labels would spur them to eat less, eat healthier and do more physical exercise.