Loughborough University: Weighing up your ice cream choice

As record temperatures continue across the country, many are turning to an ice cream or lolly to help them cool down. But just how many calories are in these frozen treats?

Academics from Loughborough University’s Centre for Lifestyle Medicine and Behaviour (CLiMB) have taken a look at the calorie content of some of the country’s favourite ice creams and lollies, and the physical activity needed to burn them off.

The results may make some people rethink their treat of choice!

A chocolate Magnum contains 280 calories, which equates to around 54 minutes walking, or a 27-minute run, with the popular ice cream van cone coming in at 218 calories – equal to a 42-minute walk or a 21-minute run.

But the treat in this sample with the highest calorie content is a 405g tub of Berry and Jerrys chocolate fudge brownie ice cream. This contains 1,121 calories, which would require a 210-minute walk or a 102-minute run to burn off.

Professor Amanda Daley, the Director of CLiMB and an expert in public health, said: “We may think these are just small treats, but they can add a significant amount to your daily calorie count. The holiday seasons are the time that we gain the most weight, and often don’t lose it all afterwards. As we continue to battle an obesity crisis across the world, it is important people understand just what they are consuming and the impact over time these foods can have on their health.

“Of course, it is roasting hot and holiday time so there is nothing wrong with having the odd treat, but one or two ice creams a week on holiday is probably enough. Eating a tub of ice cream is going to take over three hours of medium paced walking to burn off, and it contains around 50% of the daily recommended calorie allowance for an adult, so best avoided unless you have a long brisk seaside walk planned afterwards. And don’t forget, there are healthier alternatives available, such as ice lollies, sorbet, and frozen yogurt.”