MIDLANDS - Almost every South Carolina town or community has an annual fair, festival or carnival. These events feature many high-calorie treats like funnel cakes, cotton candy, caramel apples and corn dogs. Since you do a lot of walking at these events, you may think you can burn off those extra food calories. You can, if you walk up to a mile and a half for a bag of cotton candy or three miles for a funnel cake!
Most of the foods we traditionally associate with fairs, festivals and carnivals are characterized by big portions with lots of sugar and fat calories. For many people, attending the event wouldn't be nearly as much fun without these tasty treats. You look forward to a corn dog or cotton candy, and some of these treats are once-a-year foods.
So, how much exercise does it take to walk off your favorite munchies? On average, you have to walk about one mile to burn 100 calories. To visualize how far that is, there are approximately 12 city blocks to the mile. Although calories in your favorite festival food can vary depending on portion size, recipe and more, you would have to take an 18-block walk to burn off the calories in a serving of cotton candy.
Here are the approximate distances you have to walk to burn off the calories from a few popular foods available at festivals, fairs and carnivals:
Corn dog, large: 4.5 miles; Fried candy bar on a stick: 4.5 miles; Funnel cake, 6-inch diameter: 3 miles; Soft pretzel: 3 miles; Caramel apple: 3 miles; Soft drink, 32 ounce: 2.5 miles; Sno-cone: 2.5 miles; Cotton candy: 1.5 miles.
This does not mean that you need to load a picnic basket with carrot sticks and celery before heading to the fair. With a little planning, you can fit your favorite fair foods into your daily diet. Here's how:
To learn more about physical activity, refer to the following fact sheets at the Home and Garden Information website at http://hgic.clemson.edu: HGIC 4030, Physical Activity Pyramid, HGIC 4031, Physical Activity for Adults, HGIC 4032, Physical Activity for Children and with the Healthy South Carolina Challenge at http://www.healthysc.gov/
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