Time to Replace Calorie Counts With Exercise Warnings
One cola requires hour's run to work off
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 16, 2011 9:52 AM CST
Drink a can of cola and you'll need to run for an hour to stay fit.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – If we want kids to understand the health impact of soda, we should drop the calorie counts from the cans and replace them with exercise notices, a study suggests. The cans should warn potential buyers, for example, that they'll need to run for 50 minutes to work off that Coke, the Daily Mail reports. Researchers at Johns Hopkins placed signs up on three shops' windows. One warned teens about the number of calories in a soda; another pointed out that a cola was worth 10% of their daily caloric intake.

The last asked if shoppers knew they'd have to run for nearly an hour to work off the soda. While the calorie-based signs made soda sales plummet 40%, the sign describing exercise cut soda sales to teens in half. "People generally underestimate the number of calories in the foods and beverages they consume," said a researcher. "Providing easily understandable caloric information—particularly in the form of a physical activity equivalent, such as running—may reduce calorie intake from sugar-sweetened beverages and increase water consumption among low-income adolescents."