Do We Need New Calorie Labels?

by birtanpublished on August 25, 2020

Lots media attention on a recent study examining whether labeling food with the amount of exercise that will be needed for them burn it off changes how much people eat let's dig in and see this is healthcare triage news including calorie counts on restaurant menus is sadly not

Very effective as we've discussed before in addition a 2018 meta-analysis examining the impact of single food or drink labeling also did not reveal a statistically significant difference in overall energy intake data suggests that

While the average consumer is familiar with calories fat sugar and other items generally listed on nutrition labels they report more difficulty understanding the relationship between calories and energy balance a 2006

Survey reported that of the 48 – 66 percent of people who even considered food labels up to 36 percent of them did not have knowledge of daily calorie needs enter the physical activity calorie equivalent or pace a labeling

Alternative examined in a recent meta-analysis published in the Journal of Epidemiology and community health – the research rather than listing calories piece labels lists the amount of physical activity that will be

Required to burn the calories contained at a food or drink item so for example a small chocolate bar might list that it would take 42 minutes of walking or 22 minutes of running to burn off the number of calories contain within it

Beyond what appears to be an easy way to consider the cost of the food you're eating one reason this might be helpful is that people usually overestimate how many calories they burn through exercise the meta-analysis examined 15 studies of

Pace labeling on both food items and restaurant menus the data indicated an average reduction is 65 calories and food purchases and an average reduction of 80 calories and food actually consumed those small even small

Decreases can make a difference over time however the authors do point out that a 2018 review reported no effect of pace labeling on food choice this report concluded that in real-world scenarios piece labeling reduced the number of

Calories ordered by 65 which is similar to the current reports sixty four point nine calorie reduction and food purchased but it was not statistically significant there's probably a lot to unpack

But overall making a direct comparison between these reports is difficult because they each looked at different studies and different things within those studies one critical difference is that the significant numbers from the

Current review appeared to result from a comparison to no labeling at all while the 2018 review reporting no significant difference made a clear comparison to already exist in caloric labeling to be noted that the authors of the current

Study rated the quality of most of the available evidence as unclear due to limitations and things like Method reporting so pace labeling could be a better way to help consumers balance their energy intake it could also be not

Better we just don't know it's also worth mentioning that there are concerns over whether this type of labeling could have a negative impact on some types of eating disorders thus while news outlets

Are touting headlines like food labels should say how much exercise is needed to burn off the calories we're gonna say we need more and better quality research to back that up Haeju enjoy this episode you might enjoy

This other episode on how putting calorie counts on menus is ineffective you can also blame your subscribe down below you can also go to patreon.com/scishow the country where you can help support the show

Would like to especially thank a research associate Joe servants and of course our surgeon Admiral Sam

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