A Label For Everything…

Good Morning world and thanks for tuning in to another day here on Planet Magnet.

It’s hump day and things are a bit slow in the house of Magnet.

A headache and a sore throat are once again my two closest friends so I am hoping that it is a simple midweek malaise that has caused it (although as you know, because my time fleets so quickly, I do not generally buy into ANY day of the week being a less enjoyable one than any other) and not the start of the cold that has come and gone and come and gone and come and gone again….

Anyway, that is enough of my problems, today we have bigger fish to fry in the fight against obesity….

Here in the U.K I have read that it has now been announced we are to have yet another label because some people still do not understand calorie counting.

Myself I do not understand how someone cannot look and see what the contents are, tot them up in their heads and realise they have put more in than they have burned off, but that is maybe just me feeling a little exasperated at the lengths which the Public Health Service wish to go to make it understandable.
I do not wish to rant but surely we are now on our way to a label simply reading “Don’t eat this if you don’t want to get fat” or “Too much of this food makes you fat”
We are being treated like idiots.

I know I said that people need educating on what food is healthy and what foods are not but surely that should simply be the hidden killers of sugar and salt in pre-packaged processed foods.

I have never felt healthier than I now do as I exist solely on a wholefood diet. Yes there are occasional treat, in fact to be fair there are more than occasional treats but I am so active that I burn these treats off without realising. The crazy thing about this system though is people will be more likely to become obsessed with the labels and not realise that they also need food to sustain their Basal Metabolic Rate before they start to even consider exercise.
As I often state, I am fitter and healthier than I have been in many years but at still 106 Kg’s in weight, my BMR is nearly 2000 calories per day before I even start with the amount of activity I undertake. What with my walking, gym routines (yeah I know, I need to get back there…) and the general exercise I get from all of the hands on DIY I do, I am certain that most days I easily burn off what I put in, in fact, some days I know I burn off more than I put in and that is without walking or going to the gym.

But that is my lifestyle.

I am active.

I therefore do not need to be told how much exercise I need to do in order to burn off the excess calories my daily intake brings.

Maybe I might consider the labels as a complete put off. For example if they say you need to exercise for three hours to burn off the consumed calories taken on by eating a full fried breakfast, then I may just go for the healthy option, but nine times out of ten I do that anyway……

Below is the story released in the papers so take a read and let me know your opinions in the comments…

Written by Ben Spencer of The Daily Mail.

“Food and drinks should carry labels showing how long it would take to walk or run off the calories, a leading health expert suggests.

Shirley Cramer, chief executive of the Royal Society for Public Health, said people simply do not understand existing labels on food packets.

She said instead of focusing on calories, health information should tell people what they would need to do to work off what they are eating.

Public polling by the society has shown that almost half of people find current food labels confusing.
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And most would change their behaviour if there was ‘activity equivalent’ calorie information available.

The Daily Mail’s own research suggests, for example, that a small packet of kettle chips, with 151 calories, would require a 34 minute walk or half an hour of tennis to work off.

It would take nearly an hour of walking to burn off the calories in a Snickers bar, and 37 minutes of running to use up the calories in a bowl of cornflakes.

Mrs Cramer wrote in the British Medical Journal: ‘More than two thirds of the UK population are either overweight or obese.

‘We desperately need innovative schemes to change behaviour at the population level. The objective is to prompt people to be more mindful of the energy they consume and how these calories relate to activities in their everyday lives, and to encourage them to be more physically active. Given its simplicity, activity equivalent calorie labelling offers a recognisable reference that is accessible to everyone.’

Mrs Cramer believes that placing information on food and drink packaging to promote an active lifestyle could be a ‘logical solution’ and said the benefits of being active go far beyond maintaining a healthy weight. She added: ‘Such information needs to be as simple as possible so the public can easily decide what to buy and consume in the average six seconds people spend looking at food before buying.

‘People find symbols much easier to understand than numerical information, and activity equivalent calorie labels are easy to understand.’ Experts are increasingly concerned about Britain’s obesity epidemic.

Some 28 per cent of women and 26 per cent of men are currently obese, figures that are expected to rise to 40 per cent by 2025.

Obesity-linked illnesses already exert huge strain on the NHS’s scarce resources, costing £6billion a year for care and treatment. Much of the problem is linked to over-eating, snacking, and sedentary lifestyles, with the Government under pressure to force food and drinks manufacturers to help in persuading people to eat less, and become more healthy.

Last month the Government agreed to impose a tax on sugary drinks, but the levy will not be introduced for two years, and experts believe much more needs to be done. Official guidelines recommend that women consume no more than 2,000 calories a day and men no more than 2,500.

Polling suggests one in four dieters do not know how many calories they consume on a typical day, which significantly reduces their chance of success. But changing labels may be difficult due to European legislation and resistance from manufacturers.

Separate research, conducted by Cambridge University last year, suggested that manufacturers should also be asked to reduce packaging sizes.

Scientists found that reducing the size of a plate cut food intake by 159 calories a day on average. If the same approach was applied to all food and drink consumption, calorie intake could be reduced by up to 16 per cent, they said”

Mind you, how long before we all have one of these to carry around with us and scan EVERYTHING before we put it in our mouths. There really will be NO excuse for obesity then…. Will there?

So then guys, that’s all for today. I hope it all made sense and wasn’t too ranty.

‘Till tomorrow,

Stay out of the fridge.

36 thoughts on “A Label For Everything…

  1. Sarah Ferguson and Choppy says:

    I don’t think there is anything you can tell some people that will make them change – they can be lazy about things, so they will be. Even with the idea of putting in how long it will take to burn off calories, it’s still easy to cheat on that, by thinking you exercised “about” thirty minutes without paying attention to the actual time. Or, to see how long it would take (and how much effort would be needed) to burn off the calories, so never making the effort in the first place, because a person knows they aren’t going to be able to meet that goal for whatever reason, be it laziness or physical inability to do so.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. jncthedc says:

    As long as we live in a political system that offers freedom of choice and an environment filled with stress, knowledge will unlikely be the solution to obesity. I believe the best approach to changing lifestyle behavior comes down initiating them from infancy. The schools will need to implement health courses from elementary school through (at the very least) high school. Food journals by each student would have to be maintained and submitted for grading and evaluation. This would correct the lack of current knowledge about the food choices we select. Exercise/Physical Education should also be required in schools YEAR ROUND. Children should also be required on a weekly basis to share positive events or activities they experienced. We need to shift the focus from stress, frustration and anger to joy, happiness and fulfillment. By incorporating these concepts, we address the the issue of obesity BEFORE it even begins and create awareness and behavior that reduces the likeliness for obesity to develop. I believe this would be a much more effective approach than attempting to “undo” addictive behavior used (often) to cope with daily stresses in life.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. fattymccupcakes says:

    I think it is ridiculous how stupid people are becoming. I am with you on the exasperation felt realizing that people STILL don’t understand that there are nutrition facts on most foods. COME ON, PEOPLE. Why does the government have to educate at all? If they have to put a symbol or picture on something just so the masses will understand it more than actual words, we have a far bigger problem. If, in this day and age, you still do not understand that in order to be healthy and/or to lose weight that you need to burn more than you take in, you are truly stupid and no amount of government input will help. I appreciate your educating, however, because it IS needed. I just can’t stand stupidity…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. spearfruit says:

    Not ranty at all Cameron. I for one appreciate you posting about this subject, we need more people like you. I think no matter what the goverments, or producers of food do, it is still up to the individual to watch their intake of food and to exercise. And until people take charge of this in their lives, obesity rates will continue to rise. Thanks for another great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Julie says:

    Like your friend Katie, I too am a teacher and as I have taught in a rural area for over 20 years it has shocked me to the core about how the percentage of obese children in a class has increased and in a relatively short period of time. I do rack my brains about what exactly has changed for children. I agree that spending a whole load of money on a label will not do the trick, there is the whole bigger picture to consider. Most parents and children for that matter are better educated about food and exercise but still the problem remains and grows. At the same time I have noticed many more children are developing a wide range of mental health issues, more than ever before. More pupils are being referred to mental health services and not being able to access the help they and their families desperately need. And we all know the outcome of emotional eating. I could rant on for ever more about my thoughts on this topic as I face it day in and day out with young people, all I do know is that we need an umbrella organisation involving all stakeholders to take the bull by the horns and tackle the big picture, not parts of it. Sorry rant over lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Worlds Biggest Fridge Magnet says:

      Rant away Julie! Rant away!!!
      It simply amazes me how the children are left to their own devices regarding food and the teachers are expected to pick up the pieces. I had forgotten you are a teacher so you must be only too well versed in all of this crap.
      You hiot the nail on the head with the Mental Health angle. It is enough to make you wonder if the fast food lifestyles affect our mental health as well as out physical health. Is there some kind of ingredient… It sure is scary…..

      Liked by 1 person

  6. chattykerry says:

    I think it needs to start at home and school. Schools should only offer healthy, unprocessed foods. No fizzy drinks, no chocolate. Additionally, children shouldn’t have enough pocket money to go to fast food joints. I am enjoying restaurants writing calories on menus because that surprises even me. Bottom line, you are probably safe eating anything that has not been processed. Meat, veg, fruit, water.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lynz Real Cooking says:

    A great post Cameron! It doesn’t matter what people say, or write(labeling products) if we are not willing to be accountable for what we eat, and how we do or do not exercise! I know this from personal experience! I know what foods are good for me and it is pretty obvious!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. lynne hoareau says:

    It all starts in the home from day one !!! It is up to the parents to give their children healthy foods, and instill healthy eating plans within the family unit. That is the parents job for starters. If kids aren’t fed junk foods, they won’t want junk food, and if they do get to eat junk food, they probably won’t like it.
    Too often these days, the parents are lazy, feel guilty or have too much money so just give the kids money to buy whatever they want….junk food here we come, as they have not been educated from day one !

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Meritings says:

    Although the “how many calories you could lose” seems a good idea on the surface it would also need to quote how many calories are burned sitting down, reading a book for 30 minutes, ditto for hoovering, showering etc etc, how many calories burned by just breathing. It is a very simplistic suggestion but may make more people think.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. New Journey says:

    good post…and not at all in a rant way…but hey rant away if you need to…we will all listen and understand…having been overweight and still in need of loosing more, I understand the frustration ….in the end it s all about education and then personal choice….loved your passion in this post…xxxkat

    Liked by 1 person

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