Why food labels showing exercise to burn calories don't work for everyone

Why food labels showing exercise to burn calories don’t work for everyone

trying to tackle The increasing prevalence of obesityThe UK government has introduced a number of public health strategies over the years, including changes in how foods are classified. for example , “traffic lightβ€œThe color coding system, introduced in 2013, aims to make this happen Easier for consumers To see if the foods they eat are healthy for them or not.

But some critics feel so This type of tag It may still be difficult for people to fully understand or put into practice, and it may not necessarily lead to people choosing healthier food. due to obesity still on the riseIt is clear that the current strategies do not work.

Recently, a team of researchers from Loughborough University A Different food labeling system Commonly known as “caloric equivalent physical activity,” or PES. This method shows how many minutes it takes for exercise to burn the calories in certain foods and drinks. The researchers showed that this new approach was easier for participants to understand β€” and may be more likely to help people avoid high-calorie foods.

But while these types of food labels have the advantage of being easier to understand, they can also run the risk of misinformation β€” and they may not work for everyone.

the benefits

Besides being easier to understand, a team from Loughborough also showed in a previous review that using exercise to spell out equivalent calories in foods and drinks can help people Consume fewer calories About 65 fewer calories each time they eat than other food labeling methods.

While this may not seem like much, over time it may help people Eat less food It may also result in Eat fewer high-calorie foods Like fast food.

Other studies Shows that Pace may also help Increase levels of physical activity To an extent, which may be beneficial for those looking to be more active.

Therefore, using exercise to show calories in food may be a useful tool for consumers as it provides understandable and applicable information that may help them Better plan they Meals and workouts Potentially leading to healthy food choices while encouraging physical activity, both of which are essential in reducing or preventing obesity.


While preliminary results on exercise-based food labels look promising, the research is so Still required in real world settings and more Longer time periods If it will guide future public health policy.

Age is just one factor that affects how calories are burned.
LanaG / shutterstock

Another obvious pitfall of Pace’s approach is that Circulates calorie burn. This means that the rates used on the labels may not actually be correct for how each person burns calories.

a A variety of factors Like what kind of exercise you do, and how You exercise intenselyyour age and fitness level They all affect the amount of calories you burn. The way foods are digested and metabolized is also very individual.

This may mean that generic food labels can be deceptive. It’s unlikely that the calories burned on the package will apply to everyone. This may cause some people to eat more or less food than they need.

Another reason the information on these labels can be misleading is that they make the assumption that all calories consumed are equal. For example, two foods with the same calorie content may have different levels of fiber, fat, sugars, or protein.

all of these It is metabolized differentlyThis will affect how our bodies use and store foods. low fiber, Foods that are high in sugar and energyfor example, was associated with being overweight Compared to healthy options that contain a similar number of calories.

Pace stickers can inadvertently encourage people to do so Eat more poor-quality or ultra-processed foods Because they may feel that they can just exercise to burn those calories. but, Unhealthy ultra-processed foods still cause damage For the body, even if the calories are used up in it.

Other experts believe that such types of food labels will only contain a file short term effect in changing food choices. Another concern is that speed can lead to eating disorders or Excessive exercise in susceptible populations. It can also cause people to eat less so they can avoid doing the exercise required to burn extra calories.

we saw

Labeling foods and drinks with the amount of exercise needed to burn them off may certainly have some benefits. However, it is clear that a one-size-fits-all approach may be too simplistic when it comes to treating obesity in the population. This is especially true when considering that each person’s diet, activity levels, lifestyle habits, and even genes differ from one another.

As such, obesity reduction strategies should aim for a more individualized approach to help people increase their daily total movement and activitywhile also helping them assess their eating patterns and Portion sizesAs well as choosing foods of the best quality.

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