GET HCM
magazine
Sign up for the FREE digital edition of HCM magazine and also get the HCM ezine and breaking news email alerts.
Not right now, thanksclose this window
Les Mills International
Les Mills International
Les Mills International
Follow Health Club Management on Twitter Like Health Club Management on Facebook Join the discussion with Health Club Management on LinkedIn Follow Health Club Management on Instagram
UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

News

Under-reporting of calorie intake “misleading UK policy makers”

The British public has been under-reporting its daily calorie consumption, potentially misleading policymakers to focus on wrong strategies – such as increasing physical activity levels – when attempting to tackle the obesity epidemic.

The claim is made in a paper published today by the influential Behavioural Insights Team (BIT).

In its Counting Calories: How under-reporting can explain the apparent fall in calorie intake report, BIT points to scientific and economic data which shows the average daily intake to be at 3,000 calories per person – rather than the 2,000 cited in official surveys.

According to BIT, the discrepancy could explain rising obesity levels, despite decades of surveys showing people to be eating less – and could mean that focus should be switched from increasing people’s activity levels to reducing their calorie intake.

The report suggest there are three main reasons people are not accurately reporting what they eat – the difficulty of tracking snacks, “dishonesty” by those desiring to lose weight and fewer people overall taking part in the surveys.

“Several recent reports have noted that official statistics show a large decline in calorie consumption during the last forty years – the same period that obesity rates have gone up,” says Michael Hallsworth, BIT’s director of health and tax.

"If we really are eating much less, it suggests that policymakers should focus on increasing physical activity – rather than reducing consumption – in order to tackle obesity.

“However, we found that the national surveys used to measure calorie intake are under-estimating how much people are consuming. We also found that this problem has been getting worse over time – so calorie consumption may have been rising, not falling.”

Following its findings, BIT is now calling for policy makers to shift their focus from efforts to increase exercise levels to those looking to lower calorie intakes.

“Our conclusion is that policies to reduce calorie consumption have an important part to play in an obesity strategy,” the report states.

“Although attempts to increasing physical activity should be part of the policy mix, they should not act as a distraction from the central importance of reducing calorie consumption.”

The report’s findings are likely to cause a stir among those driving efforts to improve the UK’s record-low physical activity levels.

Responding to the report, Steven Ward, executive director of ukactive, said physical inactivity and obesity are “two separate issues often wrongly conflated”.

“Unfortunately, there is a lot of misunderstanding around the topics of obesity and physical inactivity," he said.

“We, and a growing number of the world’s leading health academics, have always been clear that obesity and physical inactivity are two distinct public health concerns of equal importance, which we must tackle by leading healthier lifestyles.

“Physical inactivity is a top-level health concern in its own right and the benefits of exercise cannot even begin to be measured by looking solely at waistlines.

“Physical activity has been hailed by doctors as a miracle cure which can help to treat and prevent more than 20 lifestyle-related diseases including cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

“Research from Cambridge University shows there are currently twice as many Europeans dying from physical inactivity as there are from obesity, while the recent study in The Lancet showed inactivity causes more deaths globally than smoking.

“We should follow the lead of NHS chief executive Simon Stevens, who is currently implementing an integrated workforce wellness programme for NHS staff which seeks to tackle inactivity through a range of exercise initiatives and overcome obesity by offering healthier food options.”

The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) is a part-privatised government agency tasked with encouraging people into making better life choices.

Dubbed the government’s “nudge unit”, it started life inside 10 Downing Street in 2010 as the world’s first government institution dedicated to the application of behavioural sciences.

To read the full Counting Calories: How under-reporting can explain the apparent fall in calorie intake report, click here.

The British public has been under-reporting its daily calorie consumption, potentially misleading policymakers to focus on wrong strategies – such as increasing physical activity levels – when attempting to tackle the obesity epidemic.
HAF,FIT,IND,RES,PUB
THUMB90736_585795.jpg
Latest News
The Leisure Database Company (TLDB) has revealed its State of the Fitness Industry Report UK ...
Latest News
The Gym Group’s (TGG) plans and profit forecasts were presented to analysts and investors during ...
Latest News
A new physical activity programme called Big Sister has been launched in the UK to ...
Latest News
Go Fit has been selected by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) as ...
Latest News
Ness, a US startup that is developing a range of wellness-driven credit cards, has launched ...
Latest News
Following a history of supporting US military and service members, F45 has announced a new ...
Latest News
Hyatt is piloting private gyms in five of its US hotels as part of its ...
Latest News
A young girl has died following an incident at the David Lloyd gym at Capability ...
HCM Magazine
HCM People
Our goal is to make strength training accessible to people outside of London and around the world
HCM Magazine
Q&A
Social media influencers cause harm by raising unrealistic expectations of physical perfection, as Andrea Dearden explains
HCM Magazine
Supplier showcase
Pulse Fitness and Bolsover District Council have been collaborating for many years to deliver dedicated community activity spaces
HCM Magazine
Annual report
In April, Deloitte and Europe Active published the ninth edition of their yearly European Health and Fitness Market Report, as Karsten Hollasch explains
HCM Magazine
Research
Bryce Hastings, head of research at Les Mills, explains the latest research into exercise motivation, giving tips on how to engage hard-to-reach members
HCM Magazine
Editor's letter
Having a portfolio of more than 1,000 health club locations is the aim of ambitious operators, with this elite category growing fast, creating new dynamics in the market
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Yate Leisure is one of the largest sites in Circadian Trust’s portfolio, with around 4,000 members. Ben Beasley, director of commercial development, explains why they were an early adopter of Technogym Biocircuit, and how the offer has evolved
HCM Magazine
HCM magazine
The pandemic brought about our sector’s biggest ever collaboration on COVID safety data. Lizzie Broughton tells the story
HCM magazine
Being physically active can heal damage caused by diabetes, enabling the activation of a natural system that grows new blood vessels, according to research in the US
HCM magazine
The Global Wellness Summit brought together public health and wellness experts in Boston recently. Jane Kitchen was there for HCM to see first-hand what this ‘New new era in health and wellness’ will look like for the sector
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: What’s the first thing you think about when selling gym equipment?
According to our poll the first thing 80 per cent of operators and gym owners think about when it’s time to sell gym equipment is how much your equipment is worth.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Magicline celebrates UK market entry at Elevate
With a focus on globalisation, Magicline has officially launched its software in the UK. As Europe’s leading gym management software company, the company strives to provide the best tools for gym owners to be successful, win new members and elevate their businesses.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: New £42m Moorways Sports Village to open on 21 May
Everyone Active will open Moorways Sports Village to the public on Saturday 21 May with a grand opening weekend – in time for the half term holidays.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Serco Leisure wins 10-year Mansfield contract
Following a competitive tendering process, Serco Leisure and its partner More Leisure Community Trust Limited (MLCT) have been awarded a 10-year contract by Mansfield District Council to operate three centres in the town, starting 1 May 2022.
Company profiles
Company profile: Funxtion International BV
Funxtion is the only independent B2B company that offers a full ecosystem of customizable digital ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Indigofitness Ltd
We Create Training Spaces! We've been designing and delivering high quality training spaces for almost ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Pulse Fitness: trusted partner
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: trade associations
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Fitness equipment
A Panatta Sport Srl: Fitness equipment
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Salt therapy products
Saltability: Salt therapy products
On demand
Fitness On Demand: On demand
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Runcorn
Halton Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
30-30 Jun 2022
The ICC, Birmingham, Birmingham , United Kingdom
Diary dates
12-13 Sep 2022
Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs® Resort, Lake Buena Vista, United States
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Ibiza, Ibiza, Spain
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
17-18 Mar 2023
Tobacco Dock, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates

News

Under-reporting of calorie intake “misleading UK policy makers”

The British public has been under-reporting its daily calorie consumption, potentially misleading policymakers to focus on wrong strategies – such as increasing physical activity levels – when attempting to tackle the obesity epidemic.

The claim is made in a paper published today by the influential Behavioural Insights Team (BIT).

In its Counting Calories: How under-reporting can explain the apparent fall in calorie intake report, BIT points to scientific and economic data which shows the average daily intake to be at 3,000 calories per person – rather than the 2,000 cited in official surveys.

According to BIT, the discrepancy could explain rising obesity levels, despite decades of surveys showing people to be eating less – and could mean that focus should be switched from increasing people’s activity levels to reducing their calorie intake.

The report suggest there are three main reasons people are not accurately reporting what they eat – the difficulty of tracking snacks, “dishonesty” by those desiring to lose weight and fewer people overall taking part in the surveys.

“Several recent reports have noted that official statistics show a large decline in calorie consumption during the last forty years – the same period that obesity rates have gone up,” says Michael Hallsworth, BIT’s director of health and tax.

"If we really are eating much less, it suggests that policymakers should focus on increasing physical activity – rather than reducing consumption – in order to tackle obesity.

“However, we found that the national surveys used to measure calorie intake are under-estimating how much people are consuming. We also found that this problem has been getting worse over time – so calorie consumption may have been rising, not falling.”

Following its findings, BIT is now calling for policy makers to shift their focus from efforts to increase exercise levels to those looking to lower calorie intakes.

“Our conclusion is that policies to reduce calorie consumption have an important part to play in an obesity strategy,” the report states.

“Although attempts to increasing physical activity should be part of the policy mix, they should not act as a distraction from the central importance of reducing calorie consumption.”

The report’s findings are likely to cause a stir among those driving efforts to improve the UK’s record-low physical activity levels.

Responding to the report, Steven Ward, executive director of ukactive, said physical inactivity and obesity are “two separate issues often wrongly conflated”.

“Unfortunately, there is a lot of misunderstanding around the topics of obesity and physical inactivity," he said.

“We, and a growing number of the world’s leading health academics, have always been clear that obesity and physical inactivity are two distinct public health concerns of equal importance, which we must tackle by leading healthier lifestyles.

“Physical inactivity is a top-level health concern in its own right and the benefits of exercise cannot even begin to be measured by looking solely at waistlines.

“Physical activity has been hailed by doctors as a miracle cure which can help to treat and prevent more than 20 lifestyle-related diseases including cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

“Research from Cambridge University shows there are currently twice as many Europeans dying from physical inactivity as there are from obesity, while the recent study in The Lancet showed inactivity causes more deaths globally than smoking.

“We should follow the lead of NHS chief executive Simon Stevens, who is currently implementing an integrated workforce wellness programme for NHS staff which seeks to tackle inactivity through a range of exercise initiatives and overcome obesity by offering healthier food options.”

The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) is a part-privatised government agency tasked with encouraging people into making better life choices.

Dubbed the government’s “nudge unit”, it started life inside 10 Downing Street in 2010 as the world’s first government institution dedicated to the application of behavioural sciences.

To read the full Counting Calories: How under-reporting can explain the apparent fall in calorie intake report, click here.

The British public has been under-reporting its daily calorie consumption, potentially misleading policymakers to focus on wrong strategies – such as increasing physical activity levels – when attempting to tackle the obesity epidemic.
HAF,FIT,IND,RES,PUB
THUMB90736_585795.jpg

News

The Leisure Database Company (TLDB) has revealed its State of the Fitness Industry Report UK
The Gym Group’s (TGG) plans and profit forecasts were presented to analysts and investors during
A new physical activity programme called Big Sister has been launched in the UK to
Go Fit has been selected by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) as
Ness, a US startup that is developing a range of wellness-driven credit cards, has launched
Following a history of supporting US military and service members, F45 has announced a new
Les Mills
Les Mills
With a focus on globalisation, Magicline has officially launched its software in the UK. As
Hyatt is piloting private gyms in five of its US hotels as part of its
A young girl has died following an incident at the David Lloyd gym at Capability
New fitness franchise, Circuit Society, has signed its first London location in Bayswater. The 3,000sq
Active Nottingham, part of Nottingham City Council, has released a children’s book called Can We
The new £42m Moorways Sports Village will open its doors to the public on Saturday
Fitness industry veteran Harm Tegelaars has returned to the fitness industry by joining the board
Elevate
Elevate
According to our poll, the first thing 80 per cent of operators and gym owners
Planet Fitness saw its Q1 2022 revenue increase by 66.9 per cent (to US$186.7m) on
Sport England and UK Active have signed a five-year partnership agreement which will see the
Planet Fitness is offering high-school students free access to any of its 2,200 locations in
How can organisations, including health club and leisure businesses, decarbonise, generate clean energy and harness
Being physically active can counter the damage of diabetes by enabling the activation of a
Altis, an artificial intelligence-based personal trainer solution, has secured more than US$3m worth of financing,
ukactive
ukactive
Questex’s iconic event Sibec Europe-UK – known as Europe’s leading hosted buyer event for the
Members of the United States Congress and Washington DC staff are competing against each other
1Rebel has acquired two Core Collective clubs as part of a pre-pack administration deal, along
Fitness On Demand
Fitness On Demand
1 - 20 of 12,212
HCM Magazine
HCM People
Our goal is to make strength training accessible to people outside of London and around the world
HCM Magazine
Q&A
Social media influencers cause harm by raising unrealistic expectations of physical perfection, as Andrea Dearden explains
HCM Magazine
Supplier showcase
Pulse Fitness and Bolsover District Council have been collaborating for many years to deliver dedicated community activity spaces
HCM Magazine
Annual report
In April, Deloitte and Europe Active published the ninth edition of their yearly European Health and Fitness Market Report, as Karsten Hollasch explains
HCM Magazine
Research
Bryce Hastings, head of research at Les Mills, explains the latest research into exercise motivation, giving tips on how to engage hard-to-reach members
HCM Magazine
Editor's letter
Having a portfolio of more than 1,000 health club locations is the aim of ambitious operators, with this elite category growing fast, creating new dynamics in the market
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Yate Leisure is one of the largest sites in Circadian Trust’s portfolio, with around 4,000 members. Ben Beasley, director of commercial development, explains why they were an early adopter of Technogym Biocircuit, and how the offer has evolved
HCM Magazine
HCM magazine
The pandemic brought about our sector’s biggest ever collaboration on COVID safety data. Lizzie Broughton tells the story
HCM magazine
Being physically active can heal damage caused by diabetes, enabling the activation of a natural system that grows new blood vessels, according to research in the US
HCM magazine
The Global Wellness Summit brought together public health and wellness experts in Boston recently. Jane Kitchen was there for HCM to see first-hand what this ‘New new era in health and wellness’ will look like for the sector
HCM magazine
Each health club has its own unique challenges, but the right tech solution can make all the difference. In the first of a two-part series, specialists share how they’ve solved specific issues
HCM magazine
In the wake of the pandemic, is the time ripe to change the language around the role of exercise professionals, and gain greater trust from the healthcare sector?
HCM magazine
Operators must be clear in their messaging so people find their way to a club they stick with. Try not to be all things to all people, and we can be successful at keeping them engaged
HCM magazine
HCM People

Gunnar Peterson

Chief of athletics, F45
Choose consistent over perfect. That’s the long game. It’s never too late to pivot to that mindset
HCM magazine
Fuel the debate about issues and opportunities across the industry. We’d love to hear from you – [email protected]
HCM magazine
HCM People

Jon Wright

Founder and CEO, Feel Electric
We’ve set ourselves the initial goal of developing 100 Feel Electric sites, using a cluster model
HCM magazine
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: What’s the first thing you think about when selling gym equipment?
According to our poll the first thing 80 per cent of operators and gym owners think about when it’s time to sell gym equipment is how much your equipment is worth.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Magicline celebrates UK market entry at Elevate
With a focus on globalisation, Magicline has officially launched its software in the UK. As Europe’s leading gym management software company, the company strives to provide the best tools for gym owners to be successful, win new members and elevate their businesses.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: New £42m Moorways Sports Village to open on 21 May
Everyone Active will open Moorways Sports Village to the public on Saturday 21 May with a grand opening weekend – in time for the half term holidays.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Serco Leisure wins 10-year Mansfield contract
Following a competitive tendering process, Serco Leisure and its partner More Leisure Community Trust Limited (MLCT) have been awarded a 10-year contract by Mansfield District Council to operate three centres in the town, starting 1 May 2022.
Company profiles
Company profile: Funxtion International BV
Funxtion is the only independent B2B company that offers a full ecosystem of customizable digital ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Indigofitness Ltd
We Create Training Spaces! We've been designing and delivering high quality training spaces for almost ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Pulse Fitness: trusted partner
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: trade associations
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Fitness equipment
A Panatta Sport Srl: Fitness equipment
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Salt therapy products
Saltability: Salt therapy products
On demand
Fitness On Demand: On demand
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Runcorn
Halton Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
30-30 Jun 2022
The ICC, Birmingham, Birmingham , United Kingdom
Diary dates
12-13 Sep 2022
Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs® Resort, Lake Buena Vista, United States
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Ibiza, Ibiza, Spain
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
17-18 Mar 2023
Tobacco Dock, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
Search news, features & products:
Find a supplier:
Les Mills International
Les Mills International
Partner sites