Is a Soda Worth 50 Minutes of Running?

January 6, 2012

soda 50 minutes runningHow much exercise would it take to burn off a soda? If health experts get their way, you’ll be reminded every time you reach for a can, according to a report by the Huffington Post UK.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University are calling for junk food packages—fizzy drinks included—to include labels informing consumers how much physical exercise would be needed to burn off the sugar, calorie, and fat content of less-than-nutritious foods. They believe that printing a “physical activity equivalent” on unhealthy drinks and snacks will take a serious toll on their popularity.

To test their theory, researchers posted three different signs outside stores to see which was best at deterring teenagers from purchasing (and drinking!) fizzy beverages.

The first sign stated that the average can of soda contains 250 calories. The second stated that it contains 10 percent of one’s recommended daily caloric intake. The third stated it would take 50 minutes of running to counteract its sugar and calorie content.

While the nutritional information slowed soda sales (they dropped by 40 percent), the “physical activity equivalent” was the most effective deterrent, with sales dropping by 50 percent.

Think 50 minutes of running is bad? You’ll have to do a lot more to burn off these 20 worst drinks in America (including one bottle of water that packs as much sugar as two Good Humor Chocolate Éclair Bars).

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