Consumers need help to tackle obesity, expert claims

The majority of Brits don't understand the basic concepts of calorie intake and exercise, a leading nutritional scientist has claimed.

Dr Julian Cooper, who is AB Sugar's head of food science, said that consumers often don't realise that they'll gain weight if they consume too many calories without exercising afterwards.

The comments came after the sugar company revealed the results of a new study, showing that the vast majority of Brits don't make any effort to keep fit. According to, only 10 per cent of the survey's respondents exercise and play sports regularly.

Dr Cooper believes that the apparent lack of understanding is playing a significant part in the UK's problem with obesity. He was quoted by as saying: "Our research shows that many people do not understand the simple equation of fuel in, fuel out, highlighting one of the key problems at the heart of the UK obesity epidemic. "It is therefore crucial we help consumers to make informed decisions about what constitutes a healthy, balanced diet and active lifestyle by providing them with information based on facts and science."

The study's results show that around 65 per cent of men and over half of women don't know how many calories they should be consuming each day. Many of the respondents also claimed not to count the calories in their drinks.