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Labels on Food Products Promote Exercise? One Study Says Yes

Calorie Labels on Food Products Have Lasting Effects

Including nutritional labels on food products has been linked to encouraging healthy habits, but recent research indicates a new label may promote more than just smart dietary choices. According to a study published in Nutrition Journal, an activity food label may help consumers understand how long it would take to burn off the item's calories. 

Runner's World magazine reports that the researchers analyzed how three groups of people utilized nutrition labels. The study observed that consumers require information to be depicted in a more tangible way, as simply stating the product's nutrition counts may not be enough. 

Custom Food Labels Encourage Physical Fitness 
Researchers concluded consumers would be able to make better decisions about what they consume if custom food labels added the image of a walker or runner with the number of minutes it would take to burn off the food item's calories. By including an activity label, the study's participants reported they felt better informed about their decisions.

One of the consumers in the study said that while knowing the product's calorie count was significant, there is often confusion about what the common phrase "based on a 2,000-calorie diet" means.

"What's interesting to me is there's only 60 calories between the top and the bottom sandwich, [but] the difference in the amount of exercise is significant," the participant said. "So you can think I might say, 'Gosh, for just 60 calories less I can do 20 minutes less of exercise.' So it would help inform my choice, I think."