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Instagram account swaps iconic junk food logos with calorie counts

Click to play video: 'This Instagram account swaps junk food logos with calorie counts' This Instagram account swaps junk food logos with calorie counts
Another reason why you should feel bad about yourself for eating those cookies. – Jun 15, 2016

You recognize the golden arches, you can recite the abbreviations, and you’ve memorized the catchy slogans, but do you know how many calories are in your favourite packaged foods?

A clever new Instagram account called Calorie Brands is replacing iconic logos on popular treats like Oreo cookies and KFC chicken for calorie counts in an attempt to raise awareness about healthy eating. It’s already gained nearly 60,000 followers in a week.

“This is how brands should look to help you achieve your summer body goals,” the account’s bio reads.

It’s founders are Rodrigo Batista, of Madrid, Spain, and Alessia Mordini, of Florence, Italy. They’re both marketing students who worked on this project during an internship in London, U.K.

“We focused on this because we found there is a specific problem. No one really knows how many calories are in their products. They are always shown as per serving and in small sizes between a lot of numbers,” Batista told Global News.

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The response has been mixed: they say critics are “blaming” them for body-shaming while others are celebrating their call for transparency from food makers.

They hope their project won’t be misconstrued.

READ MORE: Should food labels include how much exercise is needed to burn off the calories?

Mordini says their message is to “enjoy with awareness.”

“This account is not to make you stop eating these kinds of products, it’s just to know how many calories they contain and consume them responsibly,” Batista said.

It doesn’t take long for the pair to put together the images, they told Global News. It depends on the complexity of the product’s image for the most part.

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READ MORE: How much sugar and how many calories are in your summertime drink?

But they said their project is resonating with so many people because it’s so timely. The products are universal and ubiquitous no matter what country you’re in.

“We wanted to reach as many people as we could but we didn’t expect this,” Batista said.

Health officials have been calling for clearer nutrition facts panels for years. Restaurants and fast food joints in the United States are required to list calorie counts on their menus, for example.

READ MORE: Which has fewer calories – Chipotle, McDonald’s or Panera?

Others take it one step further, they suggest that calories don’t necessarily scare consumers away from making poor decisions when it comes to food.

Earlier this year, British doctors out of the Royal Society for Public Health, for example, said that exercise – or activity equivalence – ought to be added to food packaging.

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It’d be as simple as listing how long it’d take to walk, run or swim off the food you’re eating. A can of pop has 138 calories and it’d take 26 minutes to walk off for someone who is of average age and weight.

Take a look at Calorie Brand’s Instagram and Tumblr.

carmen.chai@globalnews.ca

 

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