Food Warning Labelling Recommended

An article regarding recommendations that foods should be labelled with the amount of exercise needed to burn the calories consumed.

It may well work with health conscious consumers but I seriously doubt that obese and morbidly obese persons would take any notice, and they don’t exercise anyway.

Choice Management

I am a long term member of Choice and actively support the work you do.

I came across the following article in the New Daily and thought what a fabulous idea – publishing the info about how many minutes running it takes to burn off the calories from some of the standard poor health choice items in our supermarkets.

The key issue I take from the article is that while we have information listed on the packet in kilojoules or even spoons of sugar, most of us still have no clear linkage to what that means in terms of exercise and activity needed to burn it off to prevent its deposit on the hips or waistline.

Of course, given our inability to get Health Ministers to take positive action to require mandatory labelling of sugar content, then it is dreamland stuff to believe that suppliers would voluntarily brand their products with this information. To get the legislators to make it mandatory is even more unlikely!

But this is where Choice could come in – we could do the research to come up with verifiable figures to publish against the calorie count of the most popular of the ‘poor choice’ foods and products in our supermarkets and fast food outlets.

I see this as a method of bypassing the bureaucracy and the influence of the food industry on their decisions and putting the power in the hands of the community through this awareness campaign.

So my proposal to Choice is a new campaign to educate the public as follows:

Title: Run it off Campaign

Research: Ensure that proper and independently verifiable scientific information is sourced to link calories to energy expenditure in a small range of exercises – running, walking, swimming.

Information Presentation: Draft tables of exercise time and distance opposite each of generic listings of ‘poor choice’ foods.


Food Group Exercise Type
Running Walking Swimming
Time Distance Time Distance Time Distance
Choc bar ‘x’ grams
Soft Drink

Note need to keep the table as simple and uncluttered as possible – most people can’t handle more than 50 words in a message given our reduced attention span driven by our slavish devotion to social media.

Media: Launch the campaign in the media using all available outlets – print, Facebook, Twitter – all the usual suspects and of course with Choice brand all over it. Maybe even get a pollie or two involved (tho good luck with that).

Feedback to me

I would love some feedback on this idea in terms of its practicality.

By deliberately avoiding brand names then you could minimise the likelihood of legal battles – but personally it would have more impact if we rotated some ‘labels’ with the generic Food Group info.


Hamburgers: ‘Maccas whopper’, etc.

Choc Bars: ‘Kit-Kat’, ‘Snickers’ etc.

Soft drinks: ‘Coke’, ‘Sprite’ etc.


Welcome to the forum!

Great Idea. I have moved your post to this topic as they are both about the same matter. I am sure CHOICE staff will take your suggestion very seriously. Thank you for posting.