And here’s how rumors get started.  My friend Deb says, on a public forum, that she heard someone else say that she knows a 26 calorie kiss.

At first I think, fantastic!  This is a diet and exercise program I can actually stick to!

So I figure out… to burn 1500 calories, it would take 57.69 minutes of kissing (I didn’t round… the poetry of the hundreds of a minute was too good!).  In just one hour of kissing I can wipe away most of a day’s intake of food!

Wow, and things that are hard like running at 10 miles per hour will only burn 1390 calories.

Wait a minute… kissing burns more calories than running?

And this sounds pretty good, right?  Yep, I thought so too, it’s too good to be true.  So I do a little research into this myth.  And it’s been widespread all over the internet.  Countless websites came up when I searched for “26 calorie kiss”  All lies!

Yet it appears, all over the internet.  This little white lie was even featured on the back of a Snapple Green Apple tea!

I think I may have gotten to the bottom of the beginning of this rumor, though.

See… here’s the REAL 26 calorie kiss.

The Real 25 Calorie Kiss

The Real 25 Calorie Kiss

Yep, a single Hershey’s kiss contains exactly 26 calories.  Which means, running that 10-minute mile (about the speed you might run a marathon), it would take a 190 pound person 1.12 minute to burn off.

Let’s take walking.  Most of us would have to walk for five minutes to burn off a single Hershey’s kiss. Here is the math: On the package label, the serving size says 9 kisses = 230 calories, so 230 divided by 9 = 26 calories per kiss. If you walk fast (4 mph) and have a moderate body mass (127-137 lbs), you burn 78 calories in 15 minutes or 5.2 calories per minute.  26 calories in a kiss divided by 5.2 calories per min. = 5 min. to burn a kiss.

The act of kissing, it turns out, burns far fewer calories.

According to the 1991 Kinsey Institute’s New Report on Sex, a passionate kiss burns 6.4 calories per minute.

I found some websites saying 1 calorie, others saying 10.

And here was the most interesting version I found…

“One calorie is approximately 70 watts of energy.  Let’s say that you kiss someone for 15 minutes. Let’s say she weighs 130 pounds. If you were expending a Calorie per minute, that’s enough energy to lift her 356 feet in the air with your face. What do you think you’re doing?”

So let’s see, for a person of approximately 130 pounds of weight, these are the calories burned in one minute of the following activities:
6.6 aerobics class
3.8 golf
9.2 jogging at 5 mph
3.9 “active” sex… LOL.. I suppose kissing would be really active…

So pretty much in no one’s imagination could a minute of even really hot, heavy and passionate kissing heat up your body so much you’re burning 26 calories by kissing.

It’s a nice rumor, though, which is probably why it persists.  After all, if it takes the idea of burning calories to get people to kiss more frequently, only good can come from that.

<note: this was originally posted in another blog, but I moved the post here when I decided to let that one go>

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