An Edith Cowan University (ECU) study has been named in the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Top 10 list of research projects that made significant impact on health care in 2014.
The ECU research team conducting the study looked at the effectiveness of the Daily Intake Guide, the voluntary nutrition labelling system which lists the amount of energy, sugars, fats and sodium in a product, plus the percentage of recommended daily intake (RDI) each amount represents.
The team proposed to add ‘equivalent walking time’ measures on food labels. Through an online experiment with 1000 Australians, the research showed the proposed labelling was far more effective at aiding people to identify unhealthy snack foods than the Daily Intake Guide label. “When people were presented with a can of soft drink and told it would take 40 minutes’ walking to burn off, all of a sudden a bottle of water with no kilojoules looked much more attractive,” said Associate Professor Owen Carter.
Federal Minister for Health Sussan Ley, while announcing the NHMRC Ten of the Best 2014 list, said the studies were further evidence of Australia’s world-leading standing in medical research. “These research stories give us a glimpse into the next generation of treatments and medical devices that will make a difference to people’s lives,” she said.