How long will it take to burn off these Olympic calories?
Grab your trainers – it’s time for a workout. We ‘worked out’ how much exercise you’d need to do to burn off some of the food that’s being sold by Olympic sponsors.
Last month we talked about how sponsorship by Cadbury, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s could undermine the healthy ethos of the Olympics. It got me thinking about how much exercise I’d need to do to burn off the calories I’ll consume while watching the Games.
When I’m on the treadmill at the gym I’m always amazed at how long it takes to burn around 250 calories (much longer than the two minutes it takes to eat the Kit Kat they came from!).
How many calories should I eat per day?
It was reported that Michael Phelps ate 12,000 calories a day when training for the Beijing Olympics – he got to this by apparently eating a lot of pasta, pizza, eggs and sandwiches all washed down with energy drinks.
However, as most of us are not Olympic athletes, we need to consume far fewer calories than this – 2,000 a day for a woman and 2,500 for a man. So, how much ‘Olympic exercise’ would you have to do to burn off some of the Olympic food sponsors’ grub?
Working up an Olympic sweat
Well, a Big Mac meal with medium Coke (990 calories) would take a while to burn off – 110 minutes of cycling at 12mph. If you prefer something a little sweeter, a standard 49g Dairy Milk chocolate bar (260 calories) would take about 30 minutes of swimming laps, going at a moderate speed. And don’t forget the liquid calories! It would take you around 25 minutes of tennis to burn off a 500ml bottle of Coke.
Last time we discussed this, some of you were really frustrated by the apparent contradiction between a healthy sporting event and its fast-food sponsors. Commenters Matt Leach said:
‘I think that it’s appalling that an institution such as the Olympics should allow such organisations to sponsor them. We live in a time when the promotion of health and fitness, along with the known dangers of fast, convenient, or “junk” food, is higher than ever.’
But Annie was less worried about the calorie count than the patriotic principle:
‘I am not worried about the health of the foods offered – if you want to stuff yourself with rubbish you should be free to do so. What annoys me is that the three giant companies mentioned are American. A bit of patriotism when offering sponsorships would not have gone amiss.’
Are you worried about the calorie counts, or do you think that unhealthy food in sport is an inevitable part of sponsorship?
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