How long would you need to exercise or run to burn off the calories of the candy bar you just ate?
A recent paper is currently studying to see if providing these answers on food labels and food packaging can reduce obesity.
This new way of doing food labels could change the entire food industry, and the food labels on them. A recent study reported that "Evidence shows that current front-of-pack nutrition information on food [and] drinks is having a limited effect on changing purchasing or eating behaviors."
Obesity is so common in America, that researchers are trying to find new ideas to fix the problem with new food labels.
Obesity Kills 100,000 – 400,000 American Per Year
Although the calorie numbers are printed on the food labels, for many these numbers are meaningless.
In 1962 American obesity rates were at 23% nationwide, in 2019 they are at 71% according to Obesity statistics. Obesity kills about 100,000-400,000 American’s in the United states per year.
An obese person in the United States incurs about $1,429 more in medical expenses every year. This totals to $147 billion spent in America every year for obesity medical costs. The number is expected to increase to 1.24 billion per year up to 2030. This surpassed the health care costs associated with smoking.
New Food Labels With Exercise Information
Printing new custom labels for food labels that contain exercise information how much you would need to run or exercise would be a simple one. The hard part would be passing legislation to get the law into place and enforced.
Once idea for these new foods is that they would tell you what calorie content of a product means. This new idea is called physical activity calorie equivalent (PACE).
With this new custom label, it would display information about how far, or how long a person would need to run or walk to burn those calories in that food product. This exact piece of information, which many consumers don’t think about when buying food products, could help revert obesity in America.
The authors of this new idea explain it best below:
"When a consumer sees a visual symbol that denotes it will take 4 hours to walk off a pizza and only 15 minutes to burn off a salad, this, in theory, should create an awareness of the 'energy cost' of food [and] drink." -Amanda J. Daley et al.
These new custom food labels would be called PACE labels.
For example, if you saw that you would need to run 3 miles to burn the calories of a chocolate candy bar, would you still buy it? And if you did, maybe you would run after eating it?