Friday 20 April 2018

Call for food 'activity labels'

Food labels can be confusing.
Food labels can be confusing.

We already have calorie posting in Ireland but how about also including information on how long it takes to work off these foods?

Giving consumers an immediate link between a food's energy content and physical activity might help to reduce obesity, according to the Royal Society of Public Health.

Almost half (44pc) of people find current front-of-pack information confusing. And more than half (53pc) said that they would positively change their behaviour as a result of viewing activity-equivalent calorie information, including choosing healthier products, eating smaller portions or doing more physical exercise, all of which could help counter obesity.

For example, the calories in a can of fizzy drink take a person of average age and weight about 26 minutes to walk off, the British Medical Journal reported.

"Given its simplicity, activity-equivalent calorie labelling offers a recognisable reference that is accessible to everyone."

According to the report, placing information on food and drink packaging to promote an active lifestyle "could be a logical solution to a multifaceted problem, and the benefits of being active go far beyond maintaining a healthy weight".

Food packaging is governed by European legislation and "fundamental change to packaging harbours little appetite among EU officials and food manufacturers".

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