Label is supposed to make calories more tangible
A new food label called PACE (Physical Activity Calorie Equivalent) is intended to clarify how much physical activity is required to get rid of the calories of the selected product. This is intended to motivate consumers to make healthier purchase decisions.
Researchers from Loughborough University and the Universities of East Anglia and Birmingham have assessed the effectiveness of the new PACE nutrition label, which shows at a glance how much exercise is required to work off calories consumed again. On average, people should consume 200 fewer calories a day. According to the study team, this could help counteract the ever increasing number of overweight people. The results were recently published in the "Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health".
Two hours of exercise for chocolate, four for pizza
The researchers give two examples. A bar of chocolate with 100 grams has around 500 calories. To get rid of these through exercise would require a two-hour walk or an hour's jogging. A ready-made pizza, on the other hand, quickly accumulates around 1,000 calories. The equivalent of a four-hour walk or two hours of jogging.
Current food labeling has little effect
The research team points out that current food labels are poorly understood and have almost no effect on the purchase decision. The British Royal Society for Public Health has already called for PACE labeling to replace the current food labeling system in England.
Simply save 200 calories
The researchers analyzed 15 relevant randomized controlled trials that dealt with food labeling. It has been shown that people eat an average of 65 fewer calories per meal if the meals are labeled with PACE. With an average of three meals a day plus two snacks, PACE could save over 200 calories a day.
"It's a simple strategy that could easily be integrated on manufacturers' food and beverage packaging, supermarket price tags, and restaurant menus," said Professor Amanda Daley, who led the research. Health officials could provide measures to support such projects to help prevent obesity, the researcher suggests. (vb)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek
- Amanda J. Daley, Eleanor McGee, Sue Bayliss, among others: Effects of physical activity calorie equivalent food labeling to reduce food selection and consumption: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled studies, Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, 2019, jech. bmj.com
- Loughborough University: Labeling foods with the amount of physical activity needed to burn off calories linked to healthier choices (accessed: 11.12.2019), lboro.ac.uk