exercise vs. calories on menus

exercise vs. calories on menus

Imagine a delicious Thanksgiving dinner spread in front of your eyes, complete with stuffing, gravy, and pumpkin pie. You grab your empty plate, ready to devour some grub, until you notice one thing: there’s a card at each dish indicating the exercise time you’d have to complete in order to burn off that item. Ewwww.

Would that little card influence how much food you put on your plate? What if the card only listed the calorie count and not the amount of exercise needed to burn it all off? This is a topic reported by CNN that has been preliminarily studied by researchers at Texas Christian University. They had subjects order meals off of a fast food menu. The subjects were given one of three menus to order their meal from: a menu with no calorie or exercise information, a menu with the calorie count for each item, and a menu that provided the minutes of brisk walking required to burn off each item.

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that’ll be 5 hours of exercise, please

The results showed that those who ordered off the exercise-centric menu tended to order a meal with 139 fewer calories. Compared to those who ordered off the blank menu, the exercise-centric group consumed around 97 fewer calories.

This study was a very small group of subjects and further testing will need to be conducted to really come to solid conclusions, but it is possible that knowing how much exercise you’d have to do to burn off that double cheeseburger might actually discourage you from ordering it.

I do think that this is a valid point and would help others make more sound dining decisions. If anything, it would probably help people work on their portion control. Imagine the exercise diagnosis you’d receive from that Thanksgiving meal you were dreaming of? Yikes! What do you all think, would exercise numbers instead of calorie count make you rethink that hot fudge sundae?