Amanda Daley: change food labelling to get people more active
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Amanda Daley: change food labelling to get people more active

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If people know they have to do a 95-minute run to work off a medium-sized pizza, they’ll probably decide to go without it!

food labelling that shows the amount of exercise needed to burn off the calories in food items would result in people re-thinking their eating habits – as well as get them more physically active.

According to Amanda Daley, professor of behavioural medicine at Loughborough University, the physical activity calorie equivalent (PACE) would provide a simple, user-friendly way of informing people of the amount of physical activity required to burn off the food they are considering eating.

Speaking to HCM, Daley said: "PACE labelling would use a small symbol to show people how long they would need to walk or run in order to burn off the calories in the food they eat.

"For example, a 400-calorie chocolate muffin would take 70 minutes of walking or 40 of running to burn off.

"There’s only limited evidence to show that nutritional information, such as calorie content, works. Most people find it too confusing as it doesn’t provide any context.

"As people only spend a few seconds looking at food and deciding whether to buy it, a simple, easily understandable approach is needed."

Daley adds that the labelling would use one single activity, which people understand.

"PACE would use walking – because it’s an activity everyone can relate to – and running," she said.

"Most people wouldn’t consider running, so if they know they have to do a 95-minute run to work off a medium-sized pizza, they’ll probably decide to go without it!"

• To read the full interview with Amanda Daley, click here for the February 2020 issue of HCM.

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Food labelling that shows the amount of exercise needed to burn off the calories in food items would result in people re-thinking their eating habits – as well as get them more physically active.
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Manchester Metropolitan University
Manchester Metropolitan University