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New Food Labels?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

How do I deal with a stressful day? Read an article on on a break of course!

The above article talks about the possibility of using pictures of runners or walkers on food labels to signify how many minutes of activity it would take to work off the calories of that food item.

It was a real eye opener for me when restaurants started posting nutritional information on the web. No more whining 'I'm watching what I eat, why am I not losing weight?!'

Now that I'm working out more than I ever have, the "activity labels" would give me a new perspective when deciding which foods I choose.

I wonder though about the people that are not active, that do not pay attention to such information for whatever their reasons may be. Would this make a difference to them?

I'm curious about what you all think. Would you like the "activity label"? Think of the people you know that lead sedentary lives. Do you think this information would spark something in them or would they roll their eyes?

Deep thoughts by kelliebean.


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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I believe this: people who are interested, can find the info on their own. People who are not, ignore it. Now, I'm pretty in-tune to calories so when I saw the calorie count listed on MacDonald's menu board? I was shocked and left for Subway. But I see plenty of super-obese people ordering super-sized value meals, so it's not even on their radar screens!
    1771 days ago
    Interesting idea!

    I too have found that nutrition labels on food items in cafes and restaurants will help me make a better choice.

    So activity level to burn off a serving is an even more graphic image of that same information!
    1771 days ago
    I think this is a great idea --

    Even watching the calorie burn at the gym on the elliptical reminds me of just how much effort it takes to burn (very few!) calories
    1771 days ago
    A very interesting article. I don't know if I would need an activity label on everything, but it helpful to keep the general relationship in your head.

    For general measurement I use: one mile = one chocolate chip cookie

    This eliminates the "I worked out, now where's that ice cream" rationalization.
    1771 days ago
    A great article, thank you for sharing! And the idea of the activity labels sounds great to me. But I believe it would only work with the already conscious consumers on the amount of calories and fat contained in their food. Those who eat whatever comes in front of them without too much thought would probably pay no attention to it. But maybe the repeating appearance of a runner or an athlete on the food packages could make a few persons stop and think, who knows? Anything that could work even with a small number of people is definitely worth trying!
    1771 days ago
    Wow, very interesting article, thanks!
    I would totally support it!
    I have experience in knowing how much calories a food item is about, and how much I burn with 30 min walking, running, biking. But, not always I make the link in my head - if I eat it, it's like 30 min walking.
    This would encourage me to eat less, and move more!

    There are foods that you think wouldn't choose?
    Or choose?
    1772 days ago
    Thanks everyone for weighing in. I always love a good discussion!

    I figured a visual like this is similar to the display of caories burned on a treadmill or elliptical machine... pretty much just a guideline more than a hard and fast fact. Every body is different, there are many variables to consider.

    This monring, out of nowhere, I had a HUGE craving for a pulled pork sandwhich and french fries. I mean a SERIOUS CRAVING, at 6:15am. What is that?! At the next red light, I saw a woman jog past my car, a good song was on the radio and craving gone!

    Visuals work for me, but not everyone.

    Rock on!
    1772 days ago
    I can only think of my DH in this instance. He watches what I eat, he listens to my yack about SP and my weight loss goals, he sees me working out, he sees me checking labels, he hears me comment about his poor food choices or amounts when we are eating either at a restaurant or at home. Does it make a difference ? NO ! Left to his own devices he reverts right back to his unhealthy self the minute I am not around.

    I think the people who are interested in nutrition, like us here on SP, already know what they are suppose to eat. Those people who are interested in making healthier choices, like us here on SP, have already taken steps to educate themselves about it. We really do not need a picture to tell us a particular food is not good for us. Even if we are not sure about an item, I think we probably have our suspicions about it and know enough to stay away from it.

    Boy, did you open a can of worms here, Kelli emoticon
    1772 days ago
    Not so sure about that?
    1772 days ago
  • CHERYLA2012
    Activity labels on prepared food wouldn't bother me a bit - but I hardly ever see anyone reading the nutrition labels so I'm betting they would ignore the activity label as well.
    1773 days ago
    A very interesting issue. People who are activity conscious will benefit from such labels. I know I will take notice and make choices based on that information. People who are inactive might not care. It is like the horrible images on sigarette packets here in New Zealand, smokers don't even look at it, they just continue smoking. Non active people who are not yet at the desperate stage to a healthy life don't even read the normal labels and don't know the serving size of say the biscuits they just bought. It is of no interest to them. There are always the exceptions but just think back at your "fat and happy" days. Would you have taken notice?
    1773 days ago
  • SUGAR0814
    I think it would be a waste of time to add an activity label because everyone's bodies are different. What might work for a smaller body type won't work for a larger body type. emoticon
    1773 days ago
    I think the more information you give people, the more likely they are to have an aha moment, which can lead to making changes. We've used posters at work to compare the calories in - for example - a hamburger and fries with a "healthy" salad, then paired with how long a walk or run it will take to offload the calories. But put a box of donuts in the kitchen - or a bag of cookies - and the food silently, secretly disappears.

    I wish it was possible to show people what can happen to them five years or fifty years down the road if they pick up that donut today and tomorrow and tomorrow ... I also wish it was possible to somehow present a picture of how long it takes to lose a pound for the "average" person compared with someone who has yo-yo dieted.

    While I think it's important to know nutrition and fitness facts, we don't seem to have a way to teach people that they need to choose what's right for them to maintain a healthy weight at least 80 percent of the time. The only "teacher" seems to be hard, and too often hurtful experience.

    Sorry for the downer.
    1773 days ago
    You, your children, nor their children will ever see that on any food. The food companies are promoting how easy or quick something is too make. There are entire websites designed to you show people how to take shortcuts and now you what them to walk off that easy to cook quick meal. Based on 3 mph, you would need about 45 minutes to walk off breakfast, about 40 minutes to walk off the calories for lunch, and about 60-100 minutes for dinner. But any information on the cans would be inaccurate, because we need to keep some calories for repairing the body and for energy. Also how many calories you burn walking depends on the weight of the individual and several other physical and medical parameters of the individual.
    1773 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/12/2013 4:56:08 PM
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