Yet Another Food Label Idea

The Lempert Report
May 27, 2016

Don’t we have enough food labels already? Maybe.

Do we have a label that communicates and empowers shoppers to make nutritional choices and changes? Calorie counts and other front of label schemes just don’t seem to be working; so yes we need a better idea. 

Shirley Cramer, chief executive of the Royal Society for Public Health has a clever idea – putting “exercise labels” on food packages like chocolate, soda and chips. Her suggestion is to put a picture of someone exercising away the calories in a chocolate bar for example, or if you knew you'd have to work out for an hour after eating 2 slices of pizza, would you still chow down?  Another example is " the calories in a can of fizzy drink (or what we call soda) take a person of average age and weight about 26 minutes to walk off." The idea is to have a picture that shows this. She explains to NBC News…"So for example if it was a can of soda, you would have a pictorial of a stick man running and it would say 26 minutes, or you would have walking 40 minutes or you would have swimming,"

Cramer wrote in a commentary in the British Medical Journal that  "People find symbols much easier to understand than numerical information, and activity equivalent calorie labels are easy to understand, particularly for lower socioeconomic groups who often lack nutritional knowledge and health literacy."