Food labels should include exercise needed to burn off calories, survey

People have backed a new system of labelling that would include food labels with how much exercise is needed to burn off the calories.

The survey conducted by Britain's Royal Society of Public Health showed that people believe that food products should be labelled with the amount of exercise needed to burn the calories included in the food product. They said that the current packaging is confusing to the customers.

The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) has said that labelling should include how much exercise is needed to burn calories present in the particular food. It said that all food and drink packs should have active calorie labelling on the front including pictures of exercise needed to burn calorie intake from those items.

The recommendation comes after a poll for the RSPH showed that 65 per cent of the people would back such a change to food labels. Around 53 per cent of the respondents said that it will make them do more exercise, eat less or choose healthier products. The survey included around 2000 people in the country.

The study found that people were around three times more likely to say that they would start some form of exercise after viewing "activity equivalent" calorie labels instead of viewing the current traffic light labels. The suggestion is included in a policy paper by RSPH that also showed that people kind current nutritional information confusing and many feel there is too much information.

"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.

The article was published in the British Medical Journal.

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