(CNN) – Many of us are familiar with the current nutrition labels printed on food items or on menus but not everyone knows how to decipher them.
A small study could show some big promise when it comes to helping you cut calories.
It all comes down to how food products are labeled.
According to research published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, food labels that show how much activity is needed to burn off calories from what you’re eating, could lead to healthier choices than the normal nutrition labels.
For example, physical activity calorie equivalent labels, commonly called “pace labels”, would list on a bar of chocolate that it takes 23 minutes of running, or 46 minutes of walking, to burn off the candy’s 230 calories.
Researchers say this could help consumers cut an average of 200 calories per day from their diet.
The group pooled data from 14 other studies that looked at the effectiveness of pace labeling and calorie reduction.
While the researchers caution that the studies were small and weren’t carried out in real life settings, they hold promise for reducing calorie consumption.
The lead researcher says the goal is to have both sets on food products and menus, giving the public as much information as possible.