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11.12.19

RSPH responds to research on activity equivalent calorie labelling

The University of Loughborough published research findings yesterday (Dec 10) showing that labelling foods with the amount of physical activity needed to burn off the calories, could lead to healthier choices.

Physical Activity Calorie Equivalent (PACE) labelling on food highlights the minutes or miles of physical activity needed to offset the calories in food or drink.

The University research team, led by Professor Daley, has found that widely implementing the PACE labelling could, on average, shave off up to 200 calories per person per day.

Despite the number of studies included in the research being small, the results suggest that PACE labelling shows promise in reducing calorie intake within the public.

The UK Royal Society for Public Health has previously championed this method and called for the roll out on current food labelling, with little strong evidence to support them, until now.

Responding to the new findings, Duncan Stephenson, deputy chief executive, Royal Society for Public Health said:

 “We welcome this new research which builds the case for introducing activity equivalent food labelling. Our own research showed that using this type of labelling did make people think twice about the calories they were consuming, and when compared with other forms of labelling, people were over three times more likely to indicate that they would undertake physical activity.

This type of labelling really does put an individual’s calorie consumption in the context of energy expenditure, and knowing how out of kilter we sometimes are, this partly explains the record levels of obesity we face.

“We would like to see further research to test if the effect on calorie consumption is sustained when PACE labelling is applied in other settings such as restaurants and supermarkets. Although the difference PACE labelling makes may seem small, these small changes can make a big overall difference to calorie consumption, and ultimately weight gain.”

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