Critics say putting exercise calorie counts on food packaging would only reinforce the notion that exercise earns people the right to eat ‘crappy foods’
According to scientists, Brits consume, on average, 6,000 calories on Christmas Day alone.
So, in an experiment published last year in the British Medical Journal, U.K. researchers explored whether providing people with the amount of exercise required to burn off the calories in, say, a single piece of mincemeat pie (21 minutes of running) or one small Christmas pudding (a staggering 110-minute run) would help prevent weight gain over the holidays.
In fact, they found participants in the “brief intervention” group exposed to this new kind of food labelling ended the holidays weighing 0.5 kg less, on average, than a comparison group.
Now, in a new review and analysis that pooled data from 14 randomized controlled trials, some of the same collaborators are reporting that when labeling known as PACE — physical activity calorie equivalent — is displayed on menu items, people consume, on average, 65 fewer calories per meal compared with other types of labeling, or no labeling.
It may not sound like much. However, the average person eats three meals a day, plus two snacks — five separate eating occasions where PACE might nudge people to reduce their total calorie intake by 200 to 250 calories a day, said Amanda Daley, of the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University.
“In the U.K., the guidance is that if you want to lose weight then you should look for a deficit of 500 calories per day, so already you could see how PACE could cut into that 500 calories,” she said.
The Royal Society for Public Health in the U.K. is already calling for PACE labeling on the front of food packaging.
But not everyone is so enthralled. Some worry it could lead to an exercise/eating disorder nightmare. “We know that many people with eating disorders struggle with excessive exercising, so being told exactly how much exercise it would take to burn off particular foods risks exacerbating their symptoms,” Tom Quinn, of the eating disorders charity Beat, told the BBC.
“Quite honestly, we have as a society, over quite a long time really, only focused on exercise as a means to manage weight or burn calories when it is poor at both,” said obesity specialist Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, an associate professor of family medicine at the University of Ottawa.
One advantage around PACE is that it tells people what it takes to burn that muffin or that Frappuccino
Freedhoff’s issue with the idea of putting exercise calorie counts on food packaging is that it would reinforce those messages, as well as the notion that exercise earns people the right to eat “crappy foods.” (In a related tweet, he also worried it could reinforce weight bias by suggesting people struggling with obesity are “lazy gluttons.”)
The idea that some “magical set of instructions” will lead everybody to make healthier choices is, well, magical thinking, he said, when the wider problem is the constant provision of junk food at every turn.
“And if you discourage the consumption of junk food and simultaneously discourage people from exercising, I don’t think that’s a public health win,” Freedhoff said.
Daley, however, argues that traditional nutritional labeling is difficult for the public to grasp and doesn’t provide any context or meaning. Many people don’t understand the meanings of calories or grams of fat in terms of energy balance, she and her coauthors wrote, and studies show the public consistently underestimates the number of calories in food. “Just putting numbers on a packet really has no relevance,” Daley said.
“One advantage around PACE is that it tells people what it takes to burn that muffin or that Frappuccino,” she said. It could help people decide whether the calories are “worth it.”
Some festive examples include: one thick slice of roast turkey (roughly 100 calories) would require 16 minutes of walking, three large roast potatoes (161 calories) 27 minutes of walking and one small Christmas pudding (1,280 calories) 110 minutes of running.
According to the formula, 100 calories is about 10 minutes of running and 20 minutes of walking for an 80kg man (the average weight for a man).
Daley said there is no evidence to date that physical activity campaigns lead to unhealthy or disordered eating. Obesity is related to cancer deaths, cardiovascular deaths and stroke, among other killers. “We’re interested in trying to save lives from those diseases,” she said.
Ultimately the researchers would like PACE to be seen on labels in supermarkets, on packages, and particularly on menus in restaurants and fast food outlets. “All those types of places where we eat high-calorie foods would be a really good place to start.”
There are some caveats: Most of the studies Daley and colleagues analyzed were small, and based on lab settings or “hypothetical meal selection scenarios,” not real life ones.
COVID-19: Ontario reports 119 new cases, 7 in Ottawa; Premier Ford set to make announcement at Ottawa hospital – Ottawa Citizen
Ontario is reporting 119 new laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases and three related deaths Monday.
The province has now seen 549,447 total cases since the beginning of the pandemic and 9,316 people have died.
There are currently 96 patients in Ontario hospitals, with an additional 131 in intensive care units, and of those, 79 require a ventilator. (Ontario Public Health statistics of ICU hospitalizations and ventilator cases contain some patients who no longer test positive for COVID-19 but who are being treated for conditions caused by the virus. As such, occasionally, the number of patients in ICUs or that require a ventilator may exceed the number of patients in hospitals with COVID-19.)
Another 137 cases were resolved in the past 24 hours and of Ontario’s total case count, 538,702 are now considered resolved.
There were 11,930 tests conducted in the province Sunday with a 1.0 per cent positivity rate.
There were 22 cases identified in Toronto, 15 in Hamilton, 14 in Waterloo, and 13 in Peel region.
Officials in Ontario are also continuing to track the spread of variants of concern in the province.
There were 19 new confirmed cases of the Alpha variant, and there have now been 145,405 confirmed cases of that strain in Ontario.
Three new cases of the Delta variant were confirmed Monday, and there have now been 3,916 total cases of that variant in Ontario.
No new cases of the Beta or Gamma variant were identified in the province, according to Monday’s data.
Ontario’s vaccination rollout has now reached 80.4 per cent of eligible (12-plus) residents with one dose, and 66.7 per cent of residents have received both vaccine doses.
Another 65,920 vaccine doses were administered across the province on Sunday. As of 8 p.m. Sunday, 19,018,393 doses had been administered and 8,625,932 Ontarians had been fully immunized with both doses, according to the latest provincial data.
COVID-19 in Ottawa
Ottawa Public Health is reporting seven new cases in the city and no new deaths.
There have now been 27,782 total cases in Ottawa and of those, 27,147 are resolved. There have been 593 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the city.
There are now 42 active cases in Ottawa, two fewer than Sunday, and there remains one patient in hospital, with none in ICU.
There have been 40 total cases of the Delta variant in Ottawa, according to provincial data.
There have also been 1,416,743 total vaccine doses administered in Ottawa.
According to OPH, 768,001 eligible residents (age 12-plus) have received one dose, and 638,520 are full vaccinated.
That represents 83 per cent of the eligible population with one dose and 69 per cent of the eligible population with both doses.
There was one new local case reported Sunday, and Ottawa has seen 27,775 total cases and 593 deaths, according to Sunday’s data.
Only one other case was identified Monday in the East region of the province, with one confirmed case in the Hatings region.
No new cases were identified in the Eastern Ontario public health unit, Kingston, Renfrew County or in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark.
Premier Doug Ford is in Ottawa Monday to make an announcement at the Ottawa Hospital’s General campus, where will be joined by Ottawa West-Nepean MPP Jeremy Roberts, Mayor Jim Watson, and Ottawa Hospital president and CEO Cameron Love.
The announcement is set for 1:15 p.m.
COVID-19 in Quebec
There have been 298 new cases in Quebec since the last provincial update on Friday, including 223 new cases over the weekend and 75 new cases confirmed Monday.
There have been 376,828 total cases in Quebec and 11,240 deaths. One new death was reported in Monday’s data.
Of those total cases, 364,774 people have recovered in Quebec and those cases are now considered resolved.
There are 67 patients in hospital in Quebec, which remains stable for the previous day’s figures, and there are 20 people in intensive care. That is one fewer than recent days.
Another 55,188 vaccine doses have been administered in the province, including 54,106 doses in the past 24 hours.
There have been 12,228,529 total vaccine doses administered in the province.
Trying to control your waistline? Add whole grains to your diet – The Globe and Mail
Sign up for the weekly Health & Wellness newsletter for the latest news and advice.
If you don’t eat whole grain foods on a daily basis, consider rethinking your menu.
According to researchers from Tufts University in Boston, doing so can help you manage your waist size, blood sugar (glucose) and blood pressure as you age. And it doesn’t take a lot. The sweet spot, it seems, is three whole grain servings each day.
Repeated studies have linked higher whole grain intakes to protection against heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and obesity.
The latest findings, published earlier this month in the Journal of Nutrition, suggest that whole grains guard against chronic disease by reducing increases in risk factors that occur over time.
What are whole grains?
All grains – such as wheat, rye, barley, spelt, oats – start out as whole grain kernels made up of three layers: The outer bran layer, which contains nearly all the fibre; the inner germ layer, which is rich in nutrients, antioxidants and healthy fats; and the starchy endosperm.
Eating whole grains and 100-per-cent whole grain foods means that you’re getting all parts of the grain kernel.
When whole grains are processed into refined flour, the bran and germ layers are removed, resulting in a loss of most of the fibre, one-quarter of the grain’s protein and a substantial amount of at least 17 nutrients.
About the new study
The researchers compared how whole grain and refined grain intake affected changes in five risk factors for heart disease and stroke: waist circumference, fasting blood glucose, blood pressure, blood triglycerides (fats) and HDL (“good”) blood cholesterol.
They did so by assessing the diets and health of 3,121 middle-aged and older adults, every four years, over a span of 18 years. Participants were, on average, 55 years old at the start of data collection.
People who ate at least three daily servings of whole grains (versus one-half or less) experienced smaller increases in waist circumference. Over each four-year period, waist circumference increased one inch among those who ate few whole grains compared to one-half inch among those who ate more whole grains. The protective effect of whole grains on waist size was strongest in women.
Whole grain eaters also had smaller increases in fasting blood glucose and blood pressure over time.
With respect to refined grains (such as white bread, white pasta and white rice), the results revealed that people who ate four or more servings per day (versus fewer than two) experienced greater increases in waist circumference and smaller declines in blood triglycerides over the study period.
Benefits of whole grains
Eating fibre-rich whole grains can help you feel satiated and prevent overeating. The soluble fibre in whole grains can also help prevent spikes in blood sugar and insulin after eating. This may, in turn, favour fat-burning rather than fat storage.
Whole grains are also good sources of magnesium and potassium, minerals used to regulate blood sugar and blood pressure. And many whole grains contain prebiotic carbohydrates, which fuel beneficial gut microbes.
How to increase your whole-grain intake
One serving of whole grain is equivalent to one slice of 100-per-cent whole grain bread or one-half cup of cooked whole grain pasta or cooked whole grain (including oats, brown rice, farro, millet and hulled barley).
Read labels on packages of whole grain breads, crackers and breakfast cereals. If you don’t see “100-per-cent whole grain” listed, scan the ingredient list to make sure the product doesn’t contain refined grains (for example, wheat flour).
When buying rye bread look for ingredients that indicate whole grain such as whole rye flour, rye meal, rye kernels and rye flakes.
Don’t be fooled by claims of added fibre. Wonder White + Fibre bread, for example, isn’t a whole grain bread. Nor is Catelli’s Smart Pasta. Both are refined grain products with added oat hull fibre (and inulin in the pasta).
If you avoid wheat, rye and barley because they contain gluten, include gluten-free whole grains in your daily diet such as brown rice, quinoa, millet, teff, sorghum, buckwheat, amaranth and gluten-free oats.
Batch cook whole grains so that you have them ready to add to meals. Toss cooked quinoa, bulgur or farro into green salads; add barley, red rice or spelt berries to soups, stews and chilis; or make whole grain bowls with freekeh or brown rice.
Leslie Beck, a Toronto-based private practice dietitian, is director of food and nutrition at Medcan. Follow her on Twitter @LeslieBeckRD
Jordan to vaccinate children aged 12 years and older against COVID-19 – The Daily Star
you’ve reached a subscriber-only article.
Sign up now and access the full breadth of The Daily Star content in minutes.
Art Gallery of Grande Prairie plots new path as COVID-19 recovery rolls on – My Grande Prairie Now
MDA gets $35.3 million contract from Canadian Space Agency for Canadarm 3 components – CTV News
Large meteor lights up skies in Norway – CTV News
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Europe kicks off vaccination programs | All media content | DW | 27.12.2020 – Deutsche Welle
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
Science21 hours ago
Rumbling meteor lights up Norway, a bit possibly landing near Oslo – Euronews
Business7 hours ago
Quebecers can get a 3rd COVID vaccine ‘at their own risk’ to travel to a country that requires it – Global News
Health1 hour ago
COVID-19: Ontario reports 119 new cases, 7 in Ottawa; Premier Ford set to make announcement at Ottawa hospital – Ottawa Citizen
Sports22 hours ago
Vancouver Canucks place Jake Virtanen on waivers for purpose of buying out contract – ESPN
Health23 hours ago
After a Hillsong Church member who derided the vaccine online died of COVID-19, its founder called the shot a 'personal decision' – Yahoo Movies Canada
Economy24 hours ago
Biden Faces Fresh Challenges on Covid-19, Economy – The Wall Street Journal
Health21 hours ago
COVID spread continues to slow in Waterloo Region – TheRecord.com
Health20 hours ago
Jordan to vaccinate children aged 12 years and older against COVID-19 – WNWN-FM