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Exercise labels on fast-food menus cut calories, study says

A new study Texas Christian University shows that displaying exercise labels on fast-food menus can make customers choose something healthier.

Mcdonalds fast food menu 2013 04 23Enlarge
A McDonald's menu in New York is shown on January 28, 2011. (EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

Care for a side of sit-ups with those fries?

A new study by Texas Christian University suggests that listing calories next to each item on fast-food menus isn't doing enough to keep customers away from shakes and double cheeseburgers.

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But displaying how much exercise it would take to burn those items off did.

In the study, researchers divided 300 young adults into three groups and gave them each a menu with the same food and drinks.

However, one menu included calorie labels, the second menu had none and the third listed the minutes of brisk walking it would take to burn off each item.

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Those ordering from the third menu, which listed exercise times, chose the healthiest options.

According to CNN, people who ordered off the exercise-labeled menu ordered 139 fewer calories and consumed 97 fewer calories on average than those who ordered off the menu without labels.

The calorie amounts might not seem like a lot, but "a 100-calorie reduction on a daily basis could lead to some weight loss over the long term," senior researcher Meena Shah told CNN in an e-mail.

The group plans to conduct a similar study among older adults.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/health/130423/exercise-labels-fast-food-menus-cut-calories