If you’re looking forward to enjoying a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings and other seasonal food delights over the holidays, then stop to think about how long you should exercise to get rid of any excess flab.
More than two thirds of us are already carrying too much weight and are politely termed ‘clinically obese’.
Eating and drinking over the holidays will only make most of us look and feel worse.
Medical researchers want a shift in food labelling to help us realise just how many calories we are eating.
Instead of listing ingredients, they want a clear label to explain how many minutes it should take to burn off the calories you are taking on.
Four hours to walk off a pizza
They haven’t come up with any figures for Christmas dinner, but once you realise that it takes four hours to walk off the calories in a pizza, most of us start to get the message.
The problem is most shoppers who are weight conscious have a tough time finding unprocessed food loaded with fat and sugar in a supermarket. Just how hard is highlighted by the labels.
The research team from Loughborough University, explained new labelling could cut about 200 calories from a person’s daily average intake.
Lead researcher Professor Amanda Daley said: “We are interested in different ways of getting the public to make good decisions about what they eat and also trying to get the public more physically active.”
“Many people would be shocked to realise how much physical exercise would be required to burn off calories from certain snacks and treats.
Education not dieting
“We know that the public routinely underestimate the number of calories that are in foods,” she said.
“So if you buy a chocolate muffin and it contains 500 calories, for example, then that’s about 50 minutes of running.
“This definitely isn’t about dieting.
“It’s about educating the public that when you consume foods, there is an energy cost, so that they can think, ‘Do I really want to spend two hours burning off that chocolate cake? Is the chocolate cake worth it?'”