Inspiring you to find peace with food and your body image
RETHINK YOUR BODY
Inspiring you to find peace with food and your body image
Should food packs display exercise needed to burn off calories?
by Harriet Frew on December 11th, 2019

Is it helpful for food packs to display how much exercise a person would need to burn off calories?

Research from Loughborough University says ‘yes’ and that this type of labelling could cut 200 calories from a person’s daily average intake.

I disagree.

Yes, we have an obesity epidemic.

But what about the 1.25 million people (BEAT) who have an eating disorder?


Making this kind of information mainstream can only exacerbate disordered eating symptoms.

Disordered eating is not just an issue for the underweight; many people of all shapes and sizes struggle with this.

If you are prone to counting calories; obsessively monitoring activity levels; purging through excessive exercise – making this information available is only going to make these symptoms worse.

This is because our relationship with food is complex.

Knowing what to eat and then putting this into practice, are very different things.

Having nutritional or exercise information might work for some. For many, it’s not the answer long-term. It massively over-simplifies things.

Why?

Overeating or undereating, for many people can be a coping strategy. A way to manage emotions (soothing, numbing or distraction) or a way to escape from the stressors of life. And, if you’re on the poverty line, it can be your one affordable pleasure.

Many healthy foods are expensive and eating well is largely a privilege. Whereas, convenience high fat and high sugar foods are relatively cheap and abundantly available. If you are strapped for cash, you are going to buy these foods, as they are affordable, never mind what’s on the label.

So if not labeling, what to do instead?

 
Education that considers the complexities of our relationship with food.

For example: ‘healthy week in schools’ needs to address the psychological too.

Better mental health provision, so people learn to self-care and manage emotions in constructive ways.

Making it easy to access and afford fruit and vegetables for everyone.

Dealing with poverty and the massive inequalities in our culture.

These issues are complex. What do you think?


Posted in Binge Eating Disorder, Bingeing, Eating disorder, Emotional eating, Emotions, Exercise, Habit, Intuitive Eating, Motivation and change, Self-care, Weight    Tagged with labelling foods, labeling exercise on foods, bbc, obesity, eating disorders, complex problems


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Inspiring you to find peace with food and your body image