Exercise labels more effective than calorie counts

Warning labels on food, explaining how much exercise is needed to burn off fat, could be better at targeting obesity than simple calorie counts

Would you drink a can of coke if you knew you’d have to go for a one-hour jog to burn off the calories?

Researchers believe food labels containing this kind of information could be more effective in cutting junk food consumption than traditional nutrition fact boxes.

Health expert Dr Sara Bleich, from Johns Hopkins University, USA, claims that people too often underestimate how many calories are in fizzy drinks and junk food, and if this was more obvious, people would be less likely to consume these products.

Results from the study of teenagers found that providing exercise-related information caused a drop in soft-drink sales to drop by 50 per cent.

‘Because of the health problems associated with junk food, it is critical to explore the most effective strategies for presenting caloric information to consumers on fast food restaurant menu boards,’ says Dr Bleich.

Fizzy drinks have been blamed for contributing to health conditions such as obesity, heart disease and type-2 diabetes.


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