Obesity is a growing problem in the UK. Healthcare professionals are looking for new ways to help people track how much they eat, and a new study shows there could be a novel way to help consumers make better choices. Keep reading to find out what the latest research reveals and how it could shape the future of UK product labelling.
The British obesity epidemic started in the early 80s, when our lives became more sedentary and diets started to move away from fresh, homemade meals and towards more convenient options like fast food and microwave dinners.
In 2013 the UK introduced the traffic light system, a voluntary initiative designed to help customers make healthier choices by labelling products either red, amber or green depending on how much saturated fat, sugar and salt they contained. The efficacy of food labelling initiatives like the traffic light system are still unknown. But recent studies suggest they are less effective than previously thought. The scheme was also optional, leaving gaps in the market for unhealthy foods to slip through the net.
For consumers to really benefit from food labels, the nutritional information printed on products needs to be contextual. And a new study shows that displaying symbols indicating how much physical exertion is needed to compensate for eating something can help shoppers better understand how many calories they’re consuming.
This new method is thought to put calorie intake into perspective and help people avoid overeating. The team of researchers who came up with the idea also believe this approach might encourage manufacturers to make foods with fewer calories.
Publishing their findings in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, the researchers analysed data from 14 previous studies and discovered that participants selected 65 fewer calories per meal when exercise-based labels were used instead of other labelling initiatives. This means moving to an exercise-based labelling system could help those who struggle with their weight cut out unnecessary calories and live healthier lives.
If you’re interested in offering your customers more nutritional information, we can help you design and produce food-safe approved, environmentally friendly labels. Take a look at our wide range of products or get in touch with us here to learn more about how we can help.