Novel Idea: Nutrition Labels To Tell You How Many Minutes of Jogging It Would Take To Work off That Candy Bar

Categories: News
Flickr user jeffadair
Exercise content: 9879852 sit-ups, 23497 push-ups and 28 marathons.

I dropped out of my human biology class at UCI, so when it comes to reading calories on nutrition labels, all I know is that small numbers are better than big numbers--and that I should probably do more crunches, squats and jumping jacks than I'm doing now, which is typically none. 

The point is, those labels don't do me much good. But health experts have come up with a better option.  

They suggest that junk food and sodas be packaged with "exercise labels" to let people know exactly how much real physical exertion is required to burn off the calorie and fat content in the products. A can of soda would read something like, "50 minutes of jogging on a treadmill," which might just make us go for that bottle of Arrowhead instead. 

In a study, researchers at Johns Hopkins's Bloomberg School of Public Health observed teenagers buying drinks. Signs displayed either the calorie counts, calorie counts as a percent of recommended daily calorie intake, or minutes of jogging that would be needed to burn off the drink. All signs prompted them to purchase fewer drinks, but the teens were most influenced by the exercise minutes. 

Of course, all bodies are different and it would be difficult getting an accurate exercise conversion, but man, knowing that I just ate three hours on elliptical machine? Ew.    

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calories in fried chicken
calories in fried chicken

Bottom line, we should always exercise to burn off the calories. We should always remember that.

John Smith
John Smith

A person burns about 0.67 calories per pound mile. Very approximate and that is about right for both running and walking. So, a 180 pound person walking (or running) three miles would burn about 360 calories.

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