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Interesting story from NBC News about how in the UK the Royal Society for Public Health is proposing that food packaging, in addition to having nutrition labels, ought to have exercise labels, informing consumers how much effort it will take to work off what they're eating.

"People find symbols much easier to understand than numerical information, and activity equivalent calorie labels are easy to understand, particularly for lower socioeconomic groups who often lack nutritional knowledge and health literacy," wrote Shirley Cramer, CEO at the society, in a commentary in the British Medical Journal.

Cramer tells NBC News that "the public is used to being told to avoid particular drinks and to cut down on specific foods. By contrast, activity labeling encourages people to start something, rather than calling for them to stop."

It is not an approach that is universally endorsed.

Susan Roberts, a senior scientist at Tufts University, calls it a "ridiculous idea," adding, "This kind of thing should be squashed. The problem with weight control is that exercise isn't always the solution. Exercise makes people hungry, so it makes people eat more. The focus should be on eating healthier foods that keep you full longer."
KC's View:
There is a point at which all this becomes silly ... though there is a reasonable argument that a standard could be established that companies could use voluntarily for supplementary information that would be available via smart phone.

It is interesting, though. There are a lot of companies that have argued that the nation's obesity issues are caused not by what we eat, but by how little we exercise. Theoretically, these folks should be in favor of this approach.