Food Also Lures Mall Shoppers

Elizabeth S. Reames  |  12/18/2007 9:41:12 PM

Holiday News You Can Use Distributed 12/06/07

With the holidays in full swing, malls are popular not just for their stores but for their many restaurants and snack shops. Shoppers may be tempted to overeat as well as overspend, according to LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Beth Reames.

To their credit, many malls offer healthy food selections such as made‑to‑order sandwiches on whole-grain breads, pizza on whole-wheat crust, baked potatoes, frozen yogurt, bottled water, skim milk, juices and grilled chicken. Some malls have whole fruits – such as bananas, oranges or apples – vegetables and even veggie burgers.

Yet, overeating can be a problem even with healthy food. If you’re planning to spend time at the mall this holiday season, Reames offers some tips to help you prevent putting on pounds.

– Eat a healthy meal or snack before going to the mall. Shopping on an empty stomach may make you overeat at lunch or sooner.

– Share the holiday spirit and your food. Cut the calories by sharing a meal or holiday treats with a friend.

– Pack a lunch and healthy snacks to take with you. Buy water or a low-calorie drink at the mall to go with it.

– Plan a few laps of mall walking. The average person can burn approximately 220 to 310 calories per hour during brisk walking. Some malls have designated walking programs and are open to the public before stores actually open.

– Although you can burn 164 calories per hour shopping, take the stairs instead of the escalator to burn an extra 90 calories (per 10 minutes) going up and 32 calories going down. Later, you can burn 50 calories per half hour by wrapping the gifts yourself.

Reames recommends using the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPyramid as a guide to healthful eating (http://www.mypyramid.gov/). For related nutrition topics, click on the Food and Health link on the LSU AgCenter homepage at www.lsuagcenter.com. For local information and educational programs, contact an extension agent in your parish LSU AgCenter office.

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On the Internet: LSU AgCenter: www.lsuagcenter.com.
On the Internet: USDA’s MyPyramid eating guide: http://www.mypyramid.gov/.
Contact: Beth Reames (225) 578-3929 or breames@agcenter.lsu.edu.
Editor: Mark Claesgens (225) 578-2939 or mclaesgens@agcenter.lsu.edu.

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