"Food packaging should tell you how long it takes to exercise it off" apparently
If the warning on your food was about how much exercise is needed to work it off, would you be more likely to pay attention?
A lot of us seem to be fighting a loosing battle with calorific intake. Even if you're totally healthy and fit as a fiddle, there is a good chance you scan the packaging on food to see what's in it and, therefor, going to be in you.
It's not a bad thing, after all, it just means most of us are health conscious. A lot of people just don't find the numbers looking back at them relatable. How much, really, is 30g of fat, or 12g of protein, and what does 350 calories actually look like?
The recommended daily amount to maintain a healthy weight is 2500kcal for men and 2000kcal for women. Do you understand that and how what you're eating adds up to that? It's really not easy.
In the UK, we have the traffic lights system on packaging, indicating how much of your recommended daily intake of each important component is in what you're buying. This is a simplified indicator but some people find it a bit confrontational and shaming.
This doesn't cover everything, either. If you head to your local takeaway, can you imagine what they would say if you asked how many calories or how much sugar was in the curry you're buying? I can't see it being a positive response, never mind accurate, and curries are one of the items that have more of everything than you'd ever imagine.
Is there a better way
Do you like exercising? I have love hate relationship with it. I love the effect of it but I really cant be bothered and I think most of us feel the same. So we have a realistic view of the effort needed to really have an impact. Good!
What if the food we bought didn't baffle us with numbers or shame us with colours and, instead, informed us by telling us how long it would take to exercise the food off?
Researchers looked into the impact this might have on peoples health and found that, if this were adopted, those involved would cut their calorie intake by around 200 per day. In the face of an obesity crisis, thats a fair amount.
But how much exercise would be needed for every day items?
They say that this more relatable measure gives people an "awareness of the energy cost of food" and would lead people to indulge less.