The Exercise Cost of Your State Fair Food

The MInnesota State Fair runs from Aug. 22 through Labor Day, Sept. 2, 2013.

The MInnesota State Fair runs from Aug. 22 through Labor Day, Sept. 2, 2013.

Have you budgeted properly to enjoy the Minnesota State Fair?  You may have saved your pennies to afford your favorite fried treats and you may have even plotted an efficient course to visit each popular food booth, but have you considered the exercise cost of your day at the Fair? Before you dive in, you may want to take a look at the price you pay for indulging in these popular state fair foods.

Exercise Cost of Popular State Fair Foods

  • Chocolate Chip Cookies:  A single sweet Martha cookie contains 90 calories.  But who eats just one? To burn off four cookies, you need to run a 10-minute mile 1.5 times around the perimeter of the state fair grounds.  And that’s just for the cookies!  Having milk with your treat? Look below to see how many miles you should add to the course.
  • Milk.  An eight-ounce glass of cold whole milk contains 148 calories. If you’re running to burn off the cookies, you’ll need to add another mile and a half to your route to burn off the milk as well. A smarter option?  Get skim milk. It only contains 83 calories.
  • Ice Cream, Malts, Shakes.  Who doesn’t love a creamy milkshake?  If you plan to enjoy a malt or milkshake in the Dairy Barn, you’ll consume over 350 calories in one small 10 ounce serving.   To burn it off, you’ll need to do the two-mile History Walking & Cell Phone tour for almost three consecutive hours.
  • Pronto Pup. This tasty snack on a stick contains 350 calories.  Eat one and you’ll have to walk up the seven-flight DNR staircase for 40 minutes.  Doesn’t sound like much does it? You might want to start climbing and then decide.
  • Deep Fried Cheese Curds. The number of calories in cheese curds depends on the number that you eat.  By most estimates, you’ll consume 570-759 calories in a single serving of curds.  Got your running shoes on?  You’ll need to sprint the perimeter of the fair grounds twice, and climb the DNR stairs for thirty minutes when you’re done to burn off the cheesy snacks.
  • Mini Donuts.  If you’re like many fair goers, you head straight towards the mini donut booth when you walk through the gates.  If you eat a 12-donut serving, you’ll consume 630 calories.  Did you bring your dancing shoes?  You’ll need to shake your groove thing for three hours at the Fair-Well-To-Summer Dance Party to burn off the calories in that treat.

Remember that there are lower calorie foods to eat at the State Fair.  If you don’t have time to jog the fair grounds or sprint up the stairs, share just one or two indulgent treats with a friend to keep your calorie count low.  Then spend the rest of the day enjoying healthier State Fair offerings like fresh fruit, grilled kabobs or fresh corn.  Use the Minnesota State Fair Food Finder to locate your favorites.  And don’t forget to check out more tips and advice about healthy eating and exercise at North Memorial Healthy Weight Loss.

*Nutritional information comes from sources including USDA, MyFitnessPal, and local vendors.  Calorie estimates for activities provided by the American Council on Exercise Activity Calculator and are based on the exercise cost for a 150-pound person.


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