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Study: Displaying calories as ‘physical activity equivalent’ leads to healthier choices

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Study: Displaying calories as ‘physical activity equivalent’ leads to healthier choices
by Patricia on Dec 16, 2011 in the Public Health Newswire

Excerpts from the article

Displaying calorie information on sugar-sweetened beverages may lead to better health choices among low-income black adolescents, especially when it also shows how many minutes of exercise would be needed to burn off those calories, says a new study….

Researchers discovered that when caloric information was provided as a physical activity equivalent, this intervention reduced the odds of the adolescents purchasing a sugar-sweetened beverage. The researchers found that providing easily understandable calorie information — particularly in the form of physical activity — may be an effective strategy for lowering calorie intake from sugar-sweetened beverages among low-income black adolescents and encouraging increased water consumption.

“In general, people are very bad at estimating the amount of calories in food they consume,” said study researcher Sara Bleich, an assistant professor of health policy and management at Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health in an interview with FOX News. “If we give them easy ways of examining it…I think we can be effective in reducing calories in purchases.”

“Because of the inclusion of mandatory calorie labeling in the recent health reform bill, it is also important to explore

the most effective strategies for presenting caloric information to consumers on fast food restaurant menu boards,” suggest the study’s authors.

December 17, 2011 - Posted by | Consumer Health, Public Health | , ,

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