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Nutrition and Hydration Week (N&H Week) 2016 – Exercise Labelling

ELFor each day of Nutrition and Hydration Week 2016, our in-house Dietitian Ruth Smith will be offering up a daily healthy tip. Today in the first of this five part series, she looks at exercise labelling.

Exercise Labelling:

Over two-thirds of adults in the UK are now overweight or obese.  To address this, the Government are due to unveil a new public health Obesity Strategy this summer.  This strategy is likely to include a number of recommendations including the need for further education, awareness-raising, marketing, taxation, reducing access to unhealthy foods, and product reformulation by manufacturers.

One suggestion to help is the introduction of “activity equivalent” calorie labeling on food packaging.  This would involve certain foods having a picture label on the front of the pack showing how many minutes of a certain exercise would be needed to be undertaken to burn off the number of calories provided by a serving of the food.

The aim of this type of labelling is to encourage people to be more mindful of the calories they consume, how these calories relate to people’s everyday lives and to encourage them to be more physically active.

10 calorie-dense food and drinks and their activity equivalence

FOOD TYPE CALORIES APPROX. WALK OFF KCAL (medium walk 3-5mph) RUN OFF KCAL (slow running 5mph)
Sugary soft drink (330ml can) 138 26 min 13 min
Standard chocolate bar 229 42 min 22 min
Sandwich (chicken & bacon) 445 1 hr 22 min  42 min
Large Pizza (1/4 pizza) 449 1 hr 23 min 43 min
Medium mocha coffee 290  53 min 28 min
Packet Crisps 171 31 min 16 min
Dry roasted peanuts (50g) 296 54 min 28 min
Iced cinnamon roll 420 1 hr 17 min 40 min
Cereal (1 bowl) 172 31 min 16 min
Blueberry muffin 265 48 min 25 min


Whether this type of labelling will be adopted has still to be decided.  Do you think it would be a good idea?

For more information please see:

Disclaimer: This information is provided to promote healthy eating in the workplace for healthy individuals.  It is not intended for the use of anyone who is pregnant or has a medical condition.  For individual advice, please see your GP for referral to a Registered Dietitian (RD).

Posted in: Dietitian - Ruth Smith, News

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