Health & Fitness experts are suggesting that junk food and fizzy drinks should display ‘exercise labels’ on their packaging to advise consumers how much physical exercise is needed to burn the sky-high calorie and fat content contained in these products.
A research study out of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore suggests that ‘Exercise Labels’ On Food Packaging could actually be more effective than the current Calorie Counts.
To test the theory, researchers positioned three different posters outside corner shops to see which was most effective in influencing the behaviour of young people when buying high calorie fizzy drinks.
The first asked if consumers knew that an average fizzy drink contains 250 calories. The second asked if they understood that this single drink was 10% of their recommended daily intake. The last explained that it could take nearly one hour on a treadmill to counteract the soaring sugar and bur the equivalent calories.
Guess which was most effective? Yes, the ‘Exercise Equivalent’ message caused a higher drop in sales than either of the two calorie based information posters.
Dr Sara Bleich stated that “People generally underestimate the number of calories in the foods and beverages they consume”…“Providing easily understandable caloric information-particularly in the form of a physical activity equivalent, such as running – may reduce calorie intake from sugar – sweetened beverages and increase water consumption among adolescents”…“It is critical to explore the most effective strategies for presenting caloric information to consumers”.
So if we are looking for motivation to eat and drink more healthily, then maybe this conversion into time and associated effort, may be the best way forward for all of us?