Would people choose menu items with fewer calories if they could see the amount of exercise required to work off that meal?
I am interested in your thoughts and ideas towards this concept. The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology recently published an article claiming that this method would be more effective then calorie counting. Is it an applicable concept in our society? What would restaurants or food labels have to gain?
I believe that this would influence consumption even though I would prefer that just the calorie content be listed rather than the amount of exercise necessary. The reason that this is my preference is that energy expenditure is so variable by person that such claims can easily loose credibility with 'experts' that wish to discredit it.
I know that some chains already do this, even if it is not required by law. Mind you, it takes a keen eye to see the fine print.
The very fact that there is so much resistance again it indicates to me that producers are worried about less consumption (and thus less profit). I believe it would require political will to promote this, and we as personal trainers should be called upon to work on a lot of spinal stabilization on those politicians who do not seem a have any backbone at all.
It is true that calorie counting is difficult for many people. I do think as more restaurants post calorie counts people will get better at using them. I suspect it will be less actual counting, than eyeballing, and choosing among available options. If I were in charge of where the efforts were to be spent I would want those calories out first, as I think before you consider how many miles you have to walk to burn something, you need to get a sense of the relationships between different types of food choices, and generally what kind of things have more calories.
As far as the cost to burn calories I think it could be useful to require fast or processed foods to carry a little warning box, like cigarettes, with something like "It takes so and so minutes of fast walking to burn off so and so many calories for an 150 lb male". But I consider it absolutely inconceivable that the fast food lobby would every allow that to happen.
Even if they could visualize it, I think clients should think about the positive benefits of exercise that they get, rather than an exercise sentence to make up for a bad meal.
Live Good Fitness