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Activity Equivalent Food Labeling

From the Show: Train Your Body
Summary: If you knew how long it would take you to work off that meal, would you choose differently?
Air Date: 4/26/16
Duration: 10
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest Bio: John Higgins, MD
John HigginsJohn P. Higgins, MD, MBA (Hons), MPHIL, FACC, FACP, FAHA, FACSM, FASNC, FSGC, is a sports cardiologist for the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center and the Harris Health System. His research interests include the effects of energy beverages on the body, and screening for underlying cardiovascular abnormalities in 12-year-olds (sixth graders), and steroid effects on the cardiovascular system.
Activity Equivalent Food Labeling
Many restaurants now disclose how many calories each menu option contains.

The idea is for diners to weigh their options with caloric value in mind. If you know you should only have 1500 calories a day, you might decide to go for the 500-calorie salad and skip the soft drink instead of the 560-calorie burger and 500-calorie fries.

All calories are not created equal. Your body will process 200 calories of lean meat differently from 200 calories of candy. The caloric labeling on menus is a step in the right direction, but it doesn't disclose what it takes to utilize all of the calories you're consuming.

An activity equivalent labeling system would disclose how much physical activity is necessary to burn off different meal choices. Would you still choose the burger and fries if you knew it would take two hours of high-impact aerobics to work them off? Would you choose something better for your body?

Dr. John Higgins joins host Melanie Cole, MS, to discuss the usefulness of an activity equivalent labeling system.

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