Coca-Cola lovers, you might want to sit yourselves down for this one.
Did you know how long you would have to run just to burn off the calories of a 500ml bottle of your favourite soft drink?
At 210 calories – that’s equal to more than a tenth of women’s recommended daily intake – you would need to go on a 4.2 mile run, or a 42-minute walk.
Hearing the nutritional information read out like that changes how you look at that innocent little bottle now, doesn’t it?
Well, that’s what a group of researchers in the States are saying, and they are pushing for companies to start sharing this type of information on their packaging, so as to make customers aware of what they are putting into their bodies.
According to a study carried out by scientists from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, when people are informed of the health implications of their choices – including how long they will have to exercise to burn off the calories – they usually pick a healthier option.
As part of their research, the scientists created signs displaying the time it would take you to run off the calories of that particular drink, placing them in a number of stores.
According to their findings, published in the American Journal of Public Health, teenagers went for a healthier option, or else bought a smaller version of the soft drink when they saw the information.
Study leader Professor Sara Bleich said of the findings: “What our research found is that when you explain calories in an easily understandable way, such as how many miles of walking needed to burn them off, you can encourage behaviour change.”