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Study: Translating Calories into Walking Distance on Menus Can Curb Calorie Intake

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Adding the walking distance it would take to burn off calories on menus may help people cut back on calories, according to a new study in the journal Appetite [HuffingtonPost.com].

Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine conducted an online survey of 802 people who were randomly given one of four menus. Menu one had calories only, the second showed how many minutes it would take to burn calories, the third showed the walking distance it would take to burn calories, and the last one offered no nutritional data. All physical activity information was based off of a 160-pound person walking 30-minute miles. For example, a burger with 250 calories was equal to 2.6 miles or 78 minutes of walking.

They found that people who ordered off the menu with calories only chose meals with an average of 927 calories, while people who ordered off the menu with walking time ordered meals with 916 calories, on average. For the menu with walking distance, people ordered meals with an average of 826 calories. The non-calorie member resulted in an average meal order of 1,020 calories. While it may not seem significant, a couple hundred calories per meal can add up fast.

For tips to decode food labels, read “How to Make Sense of Food Labels.”

Tags: Health, Eating Out, Walking, Calories