On-Label Impact

The Lempert Report
November 17, 2022

Phil: Talking about better food in the UK. You know, more than three and five adults are overweight or obese. And one of the things that they've been doing for a while there since April 2022 is now required on labels to have what's called pace, physical activity calorie equivalent labels. So the example that that's given here is 1,014 calorie large battered haddock. The portion of fish would take upwards of five hours of walking to burn it off. So they have this whole scheme of putting, you know, the amount of calories that you can burn by walking against that food, that particular food. So it sounds like a good idea, but is it?

Sally: Well, according to the results of this, you know, they looked at, they, they looked at a bunch of different people in, workplace cafeterias and such where, and they studied, you know, whether or not this influenced their choices. And apparently these studies are showing that it did not encourage them to choose healthier products, which, you know, is kind of surprising in one way because you think, you know, people like Fitbits, they like to to track their exercise throughout the day, so they might enjoy this. But like you just said, if you're, you're eating something that says, Oh, it's gonna take you five hours to work this off, then that might be kind of discouraging. 

Phil: Yeah, and you know, it really talks about all labels. So whether it's this pace label, whether it's, you know, the different schemes that we've got got in this country saying if it's a good food or a bad food, I really think we've gone, you know, labeled crazy, if you would. And if we could just get people to turn around the package, look at the nutritional information, look at the ingredients, you know, I don't think we'd really need these, these labels we're trying to make it so easy. And again, U S D A now working on this healthy food label gonna probably cause more confusion than ever before. I think we just need to get back to the basics of nutritional panels and, and ingredients.