Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Exercise Required labelling

miles per doughnut?
  [vote for,

Recently, I climbed a mountain with my friends. I was surprised to find out that my efforts (in terms of gravitational potential energy) were worth about a mars bar.

It’s very easy to underestimate the amount of exercise needed to “work off” some item of food, and the food marketing industry work hard to obfuscate the energy content of their products.

If comestibles were labelled with a measure of the exercise it would genuinely take to burn off “the calories”- like 3 mountains or 1.5 marathons, perhaps we consumers could calibrate better?

Frankx, Sep 18 2019

QR Code size limits http://www.qrcodesh...de-character-limit/
Bigly [4and20, Sep 20 2019]

Four hours to walk off pizza https://www.bbc.co....ews/health-50711652
[Frankx, Dec 11 2019]


       // I climbed a mountain with my friends. //   

       You have friends ? Wow, who knew, huh ?   

       Most halfbakers don't have any dirtspace friends.   

       We'd keep that quiet - you're going to get a lot of envy.   

       As to the idea, a label that says "The food energy in this ChocoNutCream Bar is equivalent to climbing the stairs to the top of <well-known tall building> X times" is actually very good, so for the very reasons of obfuscation you point out it will never happen.   

8th of 7, Sep 18 2019

       //friends// - figure of speech. Some humans who were patient enough to wait for me, for their own unknown reason.
Frankx, Sep 19 2019

       I don't want to appear intrusive but, given the history you summarised on the "Gold Medal" idea, how do you climb mountains?
hippo, Sep 19 2019

       ... slowly. Hence the need for patient humans!
Frankx, Sep 19 2019

       Ha! - yes, indeed (although they could have been enjoying the chance to take it easy...)
hippo, Sep 19 2019

       <Pointless rambling anecdote>   

       Two trekkers in Nepal take the mickey out of a little old Buddhist monk sitting with his begging bowl in the market place.   

       In the evening, after monumental exertions, they finally reach the top of a high, snow-clad peak ...   

       ... and find the same monk sitting on a rock, with his begging bowl.   

       They are astonished. "How did you get here before us ?" they demand.   

       "Well, how did you get here ?" asks the monk.   

       One of the climbers points back down the mountain and says "We climed up there".   

       The monk's eyes open wide; he stares at them in horror and says "You don't mean to tell me you WALKED ?"   

       </Pointless rambling anecdote>
8th of 7, Sep 19 2019

       //miles per doughnut//   

       Minutes. All exercise and food items should be labelled in minutes. A human body uses about 2000 calories per day without doing much, thus a Mars bar at 260 calories is equivalent to 260 / 2000 x 24 x 60 = 187 minutes of doing absolutely nothing - no eating, no exercise. Exercise is just a weight loss accelerator.   

       Surprisingly a pint of cold water has a calorific value of -17 calories as it takes that much energy to bring a pint of water from 5 to 37 deg.C. So drinking cold beer gives you a 10% calorie discount.
bigsleep, Sep 20 2019

       //Minutes. All exercise and food items should be labelled in minutes// - surely it would be simpler, or more complicated, to instead measure all time in kWh or MJ? This has a nice relativism about it, so if someone says "Yes, I'm just leaving now - I'll be there in half a MegaJoule" then the actual time elapsed before they arrive depends on how energy-intensive their travel to the destination is.
hippo, Sep 20 2019

       The problem with that is that travelling 1 kilometre by bicycle (highly efficient ) will give a very different energy cost to travelling the same distance by steam railway locomotive (very, very inefficient, yet a superb way to travel).
8th of 7, Sep 20 2019

       [bigsleep] is right but let's keep it simple.   

       Still label in donut hours as per the initial idea.   

       But include a reminder of how many donut hours a resting body needs each day.   

       Then people will know when they need to start walking.   

       Obviously people are different so it's going to have to be an average, I like slim girls & don't care if men get a little anorexic or thinner than might be healthy (other men anyway, & I can calculate my own so that's OK) so can we use the adult female human average on the labeling?
Skewed, Sep 20 2019

       This was partly inspired by the food labelling debate in the UK.   

       The UK Food Standards Agency developed a "traffic light" food labelling scheme. It is supported by the British Medical Association, British Dietetic Association and British Heart Foundation, independent consumer and health groups, and generally by the public. It gives a very simple, easy to understand indication of fats, saturates, salt, sugar and calorie content.   

       Kellogg's, Danone, Coca-Cola, Nestle, Tesco and others have spent millions lobbying not to use the traffic light system, but the GDA (Guideline Daily Amount) labelling instead.   

       Their argument is that "consumers won't buy the products with red labels"   

       The food industry won the battle.   

       So Hooray for informed consumer choice!
Frankx, Sep 20 2019

       Hooray indeed; it's well-known that traffic lights are very poor in nutritional value, contain no measurable vitamins or soluble fibre, and should be consumed only in the most moderate quantities.
8th of 7, Sep 20 2019

       I was planning to post an idea about embedding ingredients lists in QR codes for every package, so apps can scan and play with the figures any way they like. QR ingredients lists is still a great idea, although at least one food company has already started doing it.
4and20, Sep 20 2019

       //embedding ingredients lists in QR codes//   

       Not QR codes which aren't big enough.   

       There are various online barcode databases though, and I think some of those hold the nutritional information. The whole database could probably be downloaded into an app for offline use.
bigsleep, Sep 20 2019

       Fair point about offline use, although "a QR code having only Numeric data can have up to 7,089 characters"
4and20, Sep 20 2019

       That should be enough even for The Lord of the Rings; thousands of characters, but only a couple of dozen important ones.
8th of 7, Sep 20 2019

       //It’s very easy to underestimate the amount of exercise needed to “work off” some item of food,//   

       The weight-loss effects of exercise don't equate to the energy used directly, though.
Loris, Sep 20 2019

       What sort of conversion losses were assumed in the original calculation?   

       If I get up a mountain under my own steam, the snack food must cover not only the extollment of 1000 milli-mes of mass up a certain vertical distance, but also a good deal of horizontal leg movement, heart-pumping, backpack-bouncing, scree- displacement, expectoration, side-wind battling, brain-glucose top-up, cursing and waste heat. That might be worth a second mars bar.
pertinax, Dec 19 2019

       // If I get up a mountain under my own steam // ... you have done the sensible thing and chosen a mountain equipped with that most perfect of mountaineering accessories, a heritage cog railway.   

       Shovelling coal into the firebox is quite hard work, mind.
8th of 7, Dec 19 2019

       "If comestibles were labelled" this belongs on the "Lipstick" idea, me thinks.
blissmiss, Dec 19 2019


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