New research reveals that restaurant menus showing how much exercise is needed to burn off calories could be good for losing weight. Researchers from the Texas Christian University say that telling customers how many minutes they must walk to burn off the calories from a hamburger is much better information than showing how many calories the hamburger has. They say people do not really understand calories but do understand they have to walk for 30 minutes. Senior researcher Dr. Meena Shah said the menu could help people make healthier choices. She said: "We need a more effective strategy to encourage people to order and consume fewer calories from restaurant menus."
The researchers looked at the restaurant orders made by 300 different people. Some used a menu without calorie information; some had a menu with calorie information; and the rest were given a menu with a guide to how many minutes of fast walking would burn off the calories in the food. Example information on the last menu suggested a woman would need to walk for two hours to burn off the calories in a double cheeseburger. The people who had the menus with the exercise information ordered food with the fewest calories. Researcher Ashlei James said: "Brisk walking is something nearly everyone can relate to, which is why we displayed…the minutes of brisk walking needed to burn food calories."