“Exercise Minutes” On Menu May Cut Down Calorie Consumption

Menus that show how many minutes of brisk walking it would take to burn off the calories of food and beverages may reduce the number of calories consumed, according to a study presented at the 2013 Experimental Biology meetings. The 300 young people in the study were given menus that listed the same food and beverage choices, but one menu had no calorie information, one menu did, and the remaining menu listed how many minutes of brisk walking it would take to burn off the calories of the menu items. For example, it would take a woman two hours to burn off the calories in quarter-pound double cheeseburger. People who were given the menu with exercise minutes ordered and consumed fewer calories than people who got the other menus. But there were no differences in the number of calories ordered and consumed between the group that got a menu with calorie counts and those who got a menu without calorie counts. Among young people, ages 18 to 30, seeing how much they would have to exercise to burn off their meal led to fewer calories being consumed. More research needs to be done to see if these results apply to older people as well, says the lead author. Please note, information presented at meetings is preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.