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Should We Put Physical Activity On The Food Label?

The food label has been confounding Americans for a couple of decades now. In honor of Health Literacy Month, Alexandra Black, IHRSA Health Promotion manager, tackled the idea of putting the amount of physical activity needed to burn off the food you are eating on food labels.

She explains her reasons in IHRSA's post on the Department of Health and Human Services Be Active Your Way Blog

Black avoided going into all of the issues with food labels and instead explained why labels are so confusing to many Americans. One of the biggest reasons, she said, is the fact that it’s actually very difficult for a lot of people to quantify calorie information. As it turns out 200 calories looks so innocent on a label until you realize you just wasted 10% of your calorie budget on 12 tortilla chips. 

But there may be some hope. A recent study in the American Journal of Public Health used placement of signs in West Baltimore corner stores with messaging around how much activity - walking or running - it would take to burn off the calories in a bottle of soda or fruit juice to assess the impact of using exercise data on customer behavior. The signs worked, resulting in fewer purchases of soda or juice and more purchases of smaller portion sizes – meaning more people chose the 12-ounce can over the 20-ounce bottle.  

Read the full post on the Health and Human Services blog.

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