Should food labels include exercise amounts

 In the latest topic of debate regarding food label development and reform, the Royal Society for Public Health has announced that they are supporting a new movement which would require that food labels contain information regarding how much exercise would be needed to burn off the item that was just consumed. Listed in minutes, this figure would provide a general assessment for men and women, obviously not overly precise given the inherent variance in metabolic rates, caloric intake and exercise efficiency.

 That being said, these inaccuracies which may occur in the labelling are doing little to dissuade those members of the Royal Society intent on seeing these reforms occur. That being said, other experts in related fields are claiming that label reform as a whole is doing little to curb dietary trends in the UK, due in large part to the fact that many consumers simply dont care what information is present. Shirley Cramer, also a member of the Royal Society for Public Health, has stated that label changes will only truly affect those who make a concerted effort to read the labels, which, in all reality, is a small slice of the larger consumer demographic. "It’s the health literate consumer who is taking notice of those labels, those taking time over it, Cramer explained, and there actually aren’t that many people doing that."

 That being said, Cramer, like her colleagues, believes that reframing the information on food labels in such a way as to make it appear directly related to their daily lives will ensure that it

is given the attention it deserves. Ultimately, by framing the nutritional content of a food or beverage in terms of how long it will take individuals to exercise away the after effects of the caloric intake, the RSPH believes that noticeable and beneficial health benefits will follow.

 Cramer continued on with her discussion to provide additional commentary on the current state of food labels. "Although nutritional information provided on food and drink packaging has improved," she prefaced, "It is evident that it isn’t working as well as it could to support the public in making healthy choices." It will be quite interesting to observe whether or not the recontextualisation of these labels achieves the desired goals.