Calorie Counts to Become Mandatory for Food Chains

Calorie Counts to Become Mandatory for Food Chains
Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

By early next year, more than 20 chain restaurants will be required to post calorie counts on their menus. Although the goal is to let consumers know exactly how much food they consume in the hopes that customers will make smarter portion choices. Unfortunately, recent research shows that eating behaviors may not change much.

For many people, knowing for sure how many calories their meal will cost them may help prevent overeating. Calorie count is definitely something we should all consider, especially when it comes to fast food. For example, two slices of pizza contain about 700 calories, which takes over an hour of cardio to burn off.

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To test the new plan to fight obesity in the US, researchers posted different types of informational signs around six stores in Baltimore. One type of sign posted the number of calories in a regular bottle of soda. Another type posted the amount of sugar in the same bottle. A third type of sign showed either the number of minutes someone would have to run, or the number of miles they would have to walk, to burn off those 250 extra calories.

Overall, the study authors found that providing any calorie information encouraged more teens to purchase water or diet soda instead of a sugar-sweetened beverage. In addition, the signs that displayed physical activity information had a stronger effect than the other types of signs. This shows that people are mostly affected by the work they will need to put in to burn off their meal; understanding exactly what you are putting into your body and what you have to burn off to maintain your weight is crucial for keeping your body at a healthy weight. If you’re looking to drop a few pounds, consider this: 3,500 calories make up one pound of fat. Simply cutting 500 calories each day from your diet (either through diet or exercise) can result in a one pound weight loss at the end of the week!

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By 2015, with major food chains using physical activity descriptions to give consumers a better idea of just how much exercise is needed to burn off that Big Mac, the US may see a change in food choices and exercise habits. Hopefully, these efforts will help decrease the serious issue of obesity in the country.



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