Illustration depicting two fast food drink containers with a sugar concept. Arranged over white.

Run or walk but no hiding from calories

The Royal Society for Public Health, in the UK, has come up with a novel idea to have activity equivalent labelling on foods and drinks. This labelling would outline how much exercise would be required to ‘burn’ off the calories in a food. Some may call it making an informed choice, others would say – it’d make you think!

Below are some foods, their approximate calories and how long it would take to burn them off.

Sugary soft drinks - 138Kcals - 26 mins 13 mins.

Standard chocolate bar - 229Kcals - 42 mins 22 mins.

Sandwich (chicken & bacon) 445Kcals - 1 hour 22 mins 42 mins.

¼ large pizza 449Kcals 1 hour 23 mins 43 mins.

Medium mocha coffee 290Kcals 53 mins 28 mins.

Packet crisps 171Kcals 31 mins 16 mins.

Dry roasted peanuts (50g) 296Kcals 54 mins 28 mins.

Iced cinnamon roll 420Kcals 1 hour 17 mins 40 mins.

Cereal (1 bowl) 172Kcals 31 mins 16 mins.

Blueberry muffin 265Kcals 48 mins 25 mins.

Source: RSPH (UK).

As Sir Frances Bacon (aptly!) said with knowledge comes power, and these days food labels contain a lot of information, but it is how we make sense of this information that is so important – so the activity equivalent labelling would definitely be worth considering!

For more information on any of the issues discussed above or for more information on diet and nutrition, please contact Maria at: The Community Nutrition and Dietetic Service, HSE Dublin-Mid Leinster by telephone on (044) 9395518 or email community.dietitians@hse.ie

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