British loans company Buddy Loans has released a video and infographic designed to help individuals track the amount of calories they consume with every junk food and how they can burn them off through exercise.
The company's study states that women should take in around 2,000 calories every day while men should take in around 2,500 calories.
For its first analysis, Buddy Loans estimates that the 490 calories McDonald's popular Big Mac burger contains are already equivalent to 24.5 percent of woman's recommended daily intake and 19.6 percent of that of a man's intake.
This means gentlemen who would partake of the fast food meal would have to perform a cardio workout for 42 minutes while ladies would have to clock in 51 minutes of activity in order to burn off that amount of calories.
What dieters have to watch out for in eating Big Macs is the 24 grams (0.85 ounces) of fat they contain for every 215 grams (7.6 ounces) of the sandwich. This is far above the National Health Service's (NHS) threshold of 17.5 grams (0.62ounces) of fat for every 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of food.
Meanwhile, eating the side of French fries that typically comes with the Big Mac meal would require men to go on a 40-minute cardio and women to go on a 48-minute workout just to burn off the calories.
Those who enjoy a pint of Stella Artois beer have to remember that the beverage contains 245 calories but zero fat. Downing the pint, however, would still require gents to go on a 21-minute cardio routine while ladies would have to carry out a 25-minute heartbeat-raising exercise.
The Buddy Loans infographic comes after the publishing of a Cornell University study that found that eating larger portions of junk food does not contribute to the expansion of people's waistline. The findings instead point to the need to focus on the amount of calories individuals consume.
"Just because those things can lead you to get fat doesn't mean that's what is making us fat," Dr. David Just, co-director of Cornell's Food and Brand Lab and co-author of the study, said.
"By targeting just these vilified foods, we are creating policies that are not just highly ineffective, but may be self-defeating as it distracts from the real underlying causes of obesity."
Dr. Stacey Lockyer of the British Nutrition Foundation, however, said that while she agrees that the number of calories consumed does influence a person's ability to manage his or her weight, some individuals, particularly those who are obese or overweight, tend to underreport their actual calorie intake.
Photo: Elliot | Flickr