Study: Exercise Labels on Food Packaging Promote Healthier Lifestyle

Category : Health

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. opt for (something) / ɒpt fɔr / (phrasal) – to choose something over other options

    You should opt for healthy snacks.

  2. burn off (something) / bɜrn ɔf / (phrasal) – to use one’s energy by doing some exercise

    If you want to burn off the calories from those cookies, you have to run for more than two hours.

  3. resonate / ˈrɛz əˌneɪt / (v) – to generate a positive response

    She was touched after seeing the video because its story resonated with her.

  4. urge / ɜrdʒ / (v) – to encourage people to do an action in a serious manner

    Environmental activists are urging the government to ban plastic use.

  5. supplement / ˈsʌp lə mənt / (n) – something that can be added to support something

    I do yoga as a supplement to my cardio exercises.


Read the text below.

A recent study found that food labels that indicate how much exercise is needed to burn calories can encourage people to opt for healthier food choices.

Researchers from Loughborough University in the United Kingdom have found that putting exercise labels on food packaging can help people reduce their daily calorie intake by about 200 calories. The exercise labels, called physical activity calorie equivalent (PACE), display how many hours of exercise a person needs to burn off calories from certain food and drinks. For instance, the PACE label of a pint of ice cream shows that it takes over four hours of walking or around two hours of running to burn off the calories.

To come up with their findings, the researchers analyzed 14 studies that examined and compared the PACE labeling to other food labeling strategies. One of the strategies is the traffic light labeling system, which is the current nutritional labeling system for food packaging in the United Kingdom.

This current system informs customers whether a certain product contains high or low amounts of sugar, energy, fat, and salt using color-coding. However, the researchers said that unlike the PACE labeling, this system does not resonate well with people.

In line with these findings, lead researcher Amanda Daley urged the government to consider the PACE labeling as a supplement to the current food labeling system. She added that the PACE labeling may help curb the growing number of people with obesity.

In response, a Royal Society for Public Health executive said that the government is open to the idea of promoting the PACE labeling as an effective way to encourage people to adopt a healthier and more active lifestyle.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think the PACE labeling would be an effective way to encourage people to adopt a healthier and more active lifestyle?
• Aside from the PACE labels, what do you think are some other food labels needed to encourage healthier food choices among consumers (e.g. health warnings, health benefits)? Discuss.

Discussion B

• Do you think it is important to monitor or watch a person’s calorie intake? Why or why not?
• Aside from walking and running, what are other effective ways to burn off calories? Discuss.

Category : Health