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It’s Cookie Time!

It’s that time again, folks. You see them on the sidewalks in front of stores with their little stands, bulletin board posters pitch their products touting guaranteed goodness and loved ones (in this case my wife Marge) come home with armfuls of them.

Yup, you guessed it – Girl Scout cookies are back.

Some news person on TV the other night in the same breath mentioned Girl Scout cookies and calories. Calories? Those little delicacies have calories?

A few years ago, when my favorite magazine Newsweek was still around, the editor wrote that “The great thing about journalism is that we get to go in search of answers to questions that interest us.” Of course, Newsweek’s lofty research goals were a bit different from my mundane efforts, in this case the search for truth in calories.

Well, as always there’s good news and bad news.

The good news is that calories in Girl Scout cookies are really no worse compared to the leading national brand big sellers.

Thin Mints, the top seller for the Girl Scouts, packs just 40 calories per cookie. And Trefoils, the traditional short bread cookie, comes in at only 32 calories. On the other side of the cookie aisle, Oreos check in at 60 calories and Chips Ahoy have 48 calories. So score one for the Girl Scouts.

But — and you know there always is a but — all is not rosy. Tagalongs, the “crispy cookies layered with peanut butter and covered with chocolaty coating,” (as it says on the box) are weighed down with 70 calories per cookie.

Of course, all is not lost. Eat one cookie and it’s no big deal. But that’s only one cookie, and to borrow Lay’s chips long-ago tag line, “Bet you can’t eat just one.”

So, let’s just face reality. According to CNN Health News, the spoilsports that they are, eat four Thin Mints at 40 calories each and you’ll need to spend about half an hour bicycling to undo the damage. And two Tagalongs, at 70 calories per, will require an hour long leisurely walk to burn up the calories.

However, if you knock off an entire box in one sitting, and still want to look good in your new spring wardrobe, some serious alterations might be in order…