Are Health Experts Trying To Shame us For Our Food Choices?


By: Krystle Crossman

The Royal Society for Public Health in the U.K. is trying something new to try and make people think twice before eating food that is bad for them. Along with your servings sizes and nutritional values, you will now also get a serving of what they feel is motivation. Listed along with how many calories per serving you will also see the amount of exercise that it would take to burn off the serving of food that you are about to eat. Their thought is that this may change the minds of those eating the food and may make them think more about portion control and eating healthier.

Shirley Cramer is the CEO of RSPH. She says that people these days ignore calorie counts and are getting into trouble because of it. Data shows that there are more overweight people in the world than there are people who are a healthy weight. Cramer says that a label on the front of a package that shows the amount of exercise that it would take to burn off a serving may make people think twice about picking up that bag of chips or the frozen pizza. She states that another goal is to try and make people more physically active by showing them how their calories are working for them and what it takes to burn them off.

The RSPH sent out a survey and the results showed that half of those who responded wouldn’t do anything differently if they had those labels on the food that they ate. However, the other half stated that they would either become more active, eat less, or eat something else. Cramer states that people are always told what they can and cannot have but are not told as often that portion control and exercise can give you the freedom to eat what you want in moderation. If you are told that you cannot eat something, it makes you want it that much more right? She says that the main goal with these labels is to get people thinking about what they are doing with the calories that they are taking in and how they can become healthier.

One of the biggest problems with the labels is that they don’t tell you that you shouldn’t be burning off every single calorie that you eat. It is more or less showing that if you really have to have that handful of chips, there are consequences, but you can still have them if you are motivated enough to get active after to help counteract the calories that you are taking in. Would you do anything differently if you saw that a serving of your favorite food would take 20 minutes of running or an hour of vigorous exercise to burn off?



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