Food labels detailing how much exercise is needed to burn off a product’s calorie content could help to combat obesity, according to UK researchers.
Physical activity calorie equivalent (PACE) labels could improve on labels that identify only calories and nutrient content, according to a new scientific review.
Under the proposed system, a small bar of chocolate would carry a label informing consumers that it would take 23 minutes of running or 46 minutes of walking to burn off the 230 calories it contains.
The large-scale application of PACE labels could, on average, cut calorie consumption by up to 200 calories per person per day, according to researchers, whose work is published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
But concerns have been raised about the potential impact such labeling might have on people with eating disorders.
Amanda Daley, lead researcher from the University of Loughborough, said that PACE labels would present the information in a more accessible way to consumers than the existing calorie and nutrient content labels.
She told CNN that the current labeling system “hasn’t made a huge difference to obesity in the UK.”
The team looked at data from 14 studies that examined the effectiveness of PACE labeling in reducing calorie consumption.