Thursday, May 9, 2013

Would You Like Some Exercise With That Hamburger?

Would you eat a hamburger knowing that it packed 250 calories? What if you discovered that to burn off that same hamburger, you’d have to walk 2.5 miles or 78 minutes ― would you still eat it?

A study by a North Carolina-based research group discovered that the more we know about the calories in our food and the exercise required to burn those calories, the less we choose to eat ― promising news for tackling America’s obesity epidemic.

The study recorded the anticipated fast food purchasing habits of 804 employees at the University of North Carolina Medical School. Each employee was given one of four possible fast food menus: the first menu listed just the food items, the second listed each food’s calorie content, a third listed calories plus how long (in minutes) it would take the consumer to walk off the food’s calories, and the fourth stated both the calorie content and the distance required to walk off each menu item.

Employees given the first menu ordered 1,020 calories worth of food; those who received the second chose to eat 927 calories; those given the third menu opted for 916 calories; and those with the final menu selected the least amount of calories at 826.

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