Sandra Pedicini’s article in the Monday Orlando Sentinel about the roadblocks to bringing calorie counts to menus reminded me of this article from CTVNews about a study that takes the menu listings one step further. In the experiment, the menus not only included calorie counts but also associated those calories with the amount of exercise it would take to burn them. That helps put the numbers into context, and it allows diners to make an informed decision before shoving more pie into their faces.
This idea isn’t new — there are a number of websites that equate calories with activities (and most offer various exercises, rather than just the vigorous walking in the study). But the interesting part of the experiment is the conclusion that when faced with necessary consequences, more people made better food choices.
By the way, I’m an advocate for putting calorie counts on menus, and not just in fast-food chain eateries. My mantra for weight management — if you can’t measure it, if you can’t count it, don’t eat it — is difficult to follow when dining out. Trust me, I know! Unknown ingredients and portion sizes plot against those who would like to eat more healthfully.
What do you think? Would knowing how much exercise you’ll need to do after dinner influence your menu choice? Leave a comment below.