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Food labels should say how much exercise is needed to burn off the calories, new study.

Updated: Mar 16, 2020

Some 13 million adults in the UK are obese in what has been described as "a dangerous public health threat".

Food labels telling people how much exercise is needed to burn off what they eat could be more effective at helping weight loss than just listing the amount of calories, a new study has claimed.

The Royal Society for Public Health says most people do not understand the meaning of calories and fat levels in terms of energy balance.

It has been calling for the introduction of "physical activity calorie equivalent or expenditure" (Pace) food labelling. It tells consumers how many minutes or miles of exercise they need to do to burn off the calories in a particular product.

Now research from the Loughborough University appears to back up this approach, predicting the system could shave off up to around 200 calories per person each day on average if widely applied.

The team, using data from 14 trials, found that 65 fewer calories per meal were selected when Pace labelling was used, and 80-100 fewer calories consumed, equating to 200 calories per day.

The researchers say the difference, although not huge in itself, could be meaningful as regular over-consumption of small amounts of calories is a key contributing factor to population-level obesity.

A report last month from Diabetes UK found that 13 million adults in the UK are obese, with NHS National Medical Director Stephen Powis describing obesity as "a dangerous public health threat."

Information sourced at Sky News


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