Can you eliminate unhealthy foods? “Run eight kilometers for one pizza” | correct

Most people don’t really care about the calories on food packages. But what if your favorite snacks were labeled as “exercise labels,” would that affect our eating habits? Exactly how long do you have to exercise to burn off a certain snack? explains nutritionist Hela Van Laer and running coach John Romes.

There are many guidelines for how many calories we should consume per day to maintain or achieve a healthy weight. It also seems simple: calories are a measure of energy, and if you take in more energy than you expend, you will gain weight. But many studies show that the calorie labeling on the package makes little sense to many consumers and few of them count their calories per day unless they are on a diet.

In search of an effective way to inform consumers about their food choices and to stop the obesity epidemic, American and British researchers came up with the idea of ​​sticking exercise labels on packages. Think of high-calorie foods in terms of walking and the consequences are hard to ignore.

Unconscious eating behaviour

An idea endorsed by food scientist Hela Van Laer. People often have a certain behavior of eating food unconsciously. By confronting them with facts, they make more informed choices. By associating food products with how long you have to exercise to burn off, you can create a more mindful attitude. When you see that frozen pizza will take hours of exercise, you already know there may be more nutritious options.”

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Sticking exercise labels over unhealthy foods can raise awareness, Van Laer says. The World Trade Organization (WHO) warned last year that six out of ten Europeans are overweight. It is time for more drastic action.

Exercise shouldn’t be an excuse to satiate yourself with junk food before or after

Food scientist Hila Van Laer

The world upside down

However, she also has reservations about the method. “It’s nice to know you have to walk 22 minutes or walk 42 minutes to burn off a Snickers, but of course it’s not the intention to consciously compensate for unhealthy eating through exercise. That’s the world on its head. Exercise shouldn’t be an excuse to overeat.” Treat yourself to junk food before or after. These labels can also be harmful to people with eating disorders.”

Moreover, one calorie is not the other, says Van Laer. “The calories from an avocado have a different effect on our body than those found in, say, a Twix. Once you eat the latter, you will see a spike in sugar. Your body will produce insulin, which affects fat burning. Also, you will hardly swallow any nutrients.”

According to Van Laer, avocados, which provide the same number of calories, will not have these adverse effects. It ensures that you get plenty of nutrients. Moreover, you will feel full, while Twix will make you hungrier. So you have to take a critical look at the whole calorie story.”

You have to walk slower to get enough oxygen and keep burning going

John Romes

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Age and weight are also determined

Running coach John Rooms also points out that it’s not easy to put exercise labels on food. Many factors—from age and weight to hormones—play a role in how much you should actually walk to burn off certain foods. For example, fat burners release about twice as much energy per gram as carbohydrate burners.”

So it seems that burning fat when walking is more effective, especially if you want to lose weight. “But it takes more oxygen to burn, which means you have to walk more slowly to absorb enough oxygen to keep that burning going,” says Romes. “On average, you can say that a person who weighs 80 kilograms and walks for 30 minutes at a pace of 6 kilometers per hour burns about 200 calories.”

It would be a mess if all of these parameters got a place on a motion poster. Experts say averages who express high-calorie foods in terms of physical activity have the potential to change behaviour.

Snacks expressed in kilometers of run

• Donut (55 grams): 200 kcal = 2 km run
• Twix (50g): 248 calories = 2.5 km run
• French fries (100 grams): 262 calories = 2.6 kilos
• Sandwich: (2 white sandwiches) 380 calories = 3.8 kilos
• A bag of chips (100 grams): 530 calories = 5.3 kilos
• Big Mac: 557 calories = 5.5 km run
• Kebab sandwich (300 grams): 654 calories = 6.5 kilos
• Litter bag (200 g): 738 kcal = 7.4 km of running
• Oliebollen (5 pieces): 805 kcal = 8 km run
• Margarita pizza (350 g): 812 kcal = 8.1 kilocalories

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To burn a bag of potato chips, you have to walk at least 5 km.  And then the tangible distance will again be determined by your age, weight and hormones.
To burn a bag of potato chips, you have to walk at least 5 km. And then the tactile distance will again be determined by your age, weight and hormones. © Shutterstock

Amber Webster

 "Freelance zombie fanatic. Devoted web advocate. Analyst. Writer. Coffee fanatic. Travelaholic. Proud food aficionado."

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