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Sexercise burns only 20 calories: A study

- Reported, February 04, 2013



 

It's one of those urban myths that we love to believe is true - that it's possible to burn up to 300 calories during sex. But using a session between the sheets as an excuse to skip the gym is not as foolproof as you might think. For the average person burns a mere 21 calories during the average session, researchers claim.

David Allison, a biostatistician at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, decided to investigate the claim as part of a study into widely-health beliefs.

He discovered that sex lasted six minutes on average - 'disappointing, isn't it?' - and that the energy output equated to a paltry 20 or so calories - about the same as walking.

The researchers found the average sex session was equivalent to a quick walk, if that His report in today's New England Journal of Medicine says false assumptions such as this are the part of the reason for the obesity crisis.Among the other widely-held beliefs he investigated were whether snacking or skipping breakfast is bad or whether physical education classes make a big difference to children's weight.
Reviewing the best available research, he found that P.E. classes are are typically not long or intense enough to make much difference.

And when it comes to skipping breakfast causing weight gain, he found it ultimately depended depended on whether people were used to skipping breakfast or not.

Furthermore, when it came to weight loss, he concluded that no 'high-quality studies' had indicated snacking had a detrimental effect, and that people who lost a lot of weight quickly could keep it off - and often ended up at a lower weight than those who'd slimmed down slowly.

And rather than a recipe for failure, setting overly ambitious weight loss goals could actually be incredibly motivating - and successful - for some people.

'The evidence is what matters,' said Dr Allison, adding that many well-meaning health messages trotted out by experts simply don't stand up.

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