Would You Still Eat That If You Knew How Much Exercise It’ll Take To Burn It Off?

Image courtesy of Make Lemons

There are times when we feel like throwing caloric caution to the wind and just chowing down on whatever we darn please. But if the evidence is staring you right in the face, with cold hard facts about how much exercise it will take to burn off that food or beverage, would you change your eating habits?

According to a survey by the Royal Society for Public Health, a UK charity dedicated to health and wellness education, 53% of respondents said that seeing the amount of physical activity they’d have to do to make up for eating or drinking something would encourage them to “positively change their behavior” by eating smaller portions, picking healthier foods and exercising more, an article in BMJ, a British medical journal, says.

The article is trying to make the case that cluing consumers in to the “activity equivalent” involved in consuming their favorite things is the ideal way to promote healthy choices, and thus, address the growing obesity problem, notes MarketWatch.

As they are, labels are too confusing, the article’s author’s say.

“The public is used to being told to avoid particular drinks and to cut down on specific foods,” the article says. “By contrast, activity labeling encourages people to start something, rather than calling for them to stop.”

Putting activity equivalent info on labels wouldn’t just be about maintaining a healthy weight, the article adds.

“The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has described regular physical activity as a ‘miracle cure’ because it boosts self esteem, mood, sleep quality, and energy levels and reduces the risk of stress, depression, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease,” the authors note.

Would you change what you eat if you knew how much work it’d take to burn it off later? Weigh in with our poll below.

Food should be labelled with the exercise needed to expend its calories [BMJ]
Would you eat better if calorie labels made you feel guilty? [MarketWatch]

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