The new food labels that could answer our biggest health question 21



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When we look at a food label, we want to know the facts, but wouldn’t it be great if we could also know how much walking we need to do to work off that snack or treat?

Well, they could soon be on a supermarket shelf near you if research by Edith Cowan University is taken on board.

Researchers believe they have found the solution to helping Aussies make sense of food labels, and have created a system that shows how many minutes of exercise is required to burn off calories. For example, a Mars Bar needs one hour and one minute of walking.

The ‘equivalent walking time’ associated with each food would be displayed on the front of the food packet as part of the battle against obesity.

2 in 3 Australian adults and 1 in 4 children are overweight or obese, and the new labels could confront these people by putting a figure on how many minutes they need to exercise.

It could deter people from selecting snack foods and chocolates altogether. Another example is if you ate a Tim Tam, you would need to walk for 24 minutes to burn it off.

Associate professor Owen Carter is leading the project, which was awarded an almost $80,000 grant by the National Health and Medical Research Council.

‘The average Australian gets about a third of his or her kilojoules from snacks throughout the day but doesn’t do nearly enough exercise to burn this off,’ Dr Carter wrote in the report, submitted in partnership with Brennen Mills and Steve Pratt, reports the Daily Mail Australia.

Focus groups also found that Australians have trouble deciphering the current labels, which outline the amount of energy, fats, sugars and sodium in a single serve of a product.

The research was conducted in order to find other better ways to show nutritional information, based on the facts people seek when they make food choices.

The researchers will be submitting their proposal to government and government regulation bodies soon.


Tell us, would these labels help you? Could it fight obesity?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I’m not sure (most radio programs are just white noise to me, as is the garbage served up on television), but I think I just heard that the Senate has decided not to go ahead with country-of-origin labelling because they’ve decided it belongs in the too-hard basket.
    Thanks, boys and girls …

  2. my main concern is is it GMO free and exactly how much sugar has been added by the manufacturer –that’s why we eat no processed foods but just remember not everyones weight is caused by foods some have a problem with medications i have an 80% raw food diet no cakes, biscuits, potatoes rice or pasta and i have a weight problem breakfast is a green smoothie –lunch a salad with some protein [ main meal of the day ] -and tea a snack of vegetables carrot and celery sticks with Philly light or home made peanut paste could someone tell me why my weight will not drop for a treat some rye cruskets with philly and strawberries or blueberries or kiwi fruit

    1 REPLY
    • forgot to mention country of origin too as we always buy Australian non halal killed meat [we do not like the cruelty in that method of slaughter ]straight from the farmer and fish/ prawns from the fishermen or catch our own

  3. People will decide their own destiny, I found a first cousin of mine the other day, we were very close and we were born a month apart and lost contact in our 40’s. First thing she said to me was after we said our hello’s..I am fat now.. she didn’t look super huge to me and I said to her .NO you are beautiful and asked her was she well and happy ?..she said I told her then that is the best you can ask of life.. we all have one life it with what makes you happy

  4. Most info about weight loss these days says exercise doesn’t help you lose weight but does help maintain it once you lose. Trouble is there is no one solution. Different strokes for different folks.

  5. WhWhat a load of rubbish!! more useless info to confuse people. Calories are not equal and everyone burns calories at their own rate. There is not one size fits all. They should get with the latest research and put on the labels how many teaspoons of sugar are are in the products.

  6. I just want to know what foreign country has grown and packed the food I’m going to put in my mouth. If I wanted to know the calories of a certain substance I’d look them up on the internet or in any of the million diet books I have.

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