If you’ve been following Coca-Cola recently, you know the company is touting exercise as a way to balance the calories associated with consuming their products. In fact, Coke has joined forces with a group of influential scientists to spread the word that the solution to obesity is not fewer calories, but more exercise.
But is Coke really telling us the whole story?
It is true that calories in versus calories out determines the number on the bathroom scale. But health is more than calories. Calories have no relationship to nutrients, and it’s actually hard to burn off excess calories consumed.
Let’s look at the calories in a Twinkie and what it takes to burn off those calories.
Twinkie, one per serving
Here’s what it would take to work off the calories in that one small serving:*
• Hiking: 22 minutes
• Walking (slow pace): 50 minutes
• Jogging: 20 minutes
• Swimming (vigorously): 13 minutes
• Jumping rope: 15 minutes
• Scrubbing the floor: 30 minutes
• Running up the stairs: 10 minutes
And here are some other choices you could have made for that same 150 calories:
• 11 cups of celery
• 75 grapes
• 22 almonds
• 100 blueberries
• 2 cups of carrots
Could you to eat 11 cups of celery or even two cups of chopped up carrots? You’d be pretty full. But if you opted for the vegetables, despite the same number of calories consumed, you would have avoided the trans fats, saturated fats, cholesterol, preservatives and other artificial additives found in that little golden cake.
That’s the part of the story Coke is leaving out.
There’s more to food than calories, and focusing on burning calories alone can only get you so far. Our bodies have to process EVERYTHING we put in them, down to the smallest micronutrient. Hiking for 22 minutes won’t rid your system of the red dye 40 or yellow 5, reduce your body’s exposure to the other 35 ingredients found in a Twinkie, or eliminate their effects on your cells.