We've all been there: You demolish a bag of chips, and then you promise to "work it off" at the gym later to make up for the empty calorie consumption. (Some of us are more serious about making good on this promise than others.) But now, the UK’s Royal Society of Public Health is suggesting food companies push consumers more firmly toward putting their money where their mouth is, by including "activity equivalent" measurements on their labels.
"We think a clearer way of making people more mindful of the calories they are consuming is for a food or drink product to also show on the front of the packet a small icon which would visually display just how much activity you would need to do to burn off the calories it contains," said Shirley Cramer, chief executive of the Royal Society for Public Health, in an op-ed for the BBC.
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The icon would show how approximately how long you'd need to walk or run to burn off the calories in, say, a chicken and bacon sandwich, according to Cramer. (An infographic accompanying her piece says that one chicken and bacon sandwich requires about 42 minutes of running, at 5 miles per hour, for caloric penance.)