"At the European Congress on Obesity in Athens last week, VUMC’s Maciej Buchowski, Ph.D., reported weighty findings from a study he completed last year on how laughing — no joke — burns calories. . .
"This is a trivial study," Buchowski said later, about all the attention. As director of Bionutrition, he has certainly conducted scientific studies with more serious implications. But people take this news to heart. "People just understood this, it's something that they relate to themselves."
Seriously though, Buchowski found that laughing raises energy expenditure and increases heart rate 10 percent to 20 percent. Ten to 15 minutes of laughter could increase energy expenditure by 10 to 40 calories per day, which could translate into about four pounds a year.
"People can't eat at McDonald's and then expect to laugh away their lunch," Buchowski said. You'd have to laugh for 15 minutes to burn off two Hershey's Kisses and it would take an hour of chortles to burn one chocolate bar. But, he said, the important thing is that "every calorie counts" and every activity could help people lose weight. And, scientifically, this is one more step toward understanding how the body manages energy and burns fat." - from the Vanderbilt Med Center Reporter