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Laughter Affects Appetite Much Like a Workout Does

Study Finds Repetitive Laughter Has an Impact on Appetite Hormones

Second Opinion

Cautioning that the study is small and the results preliminary, Mary Bennett, PhD, director of the Western Kentucky University School of Nursing in Bowling Green, says the results are interesting.

She has researched and published on the value of humor and laughter and reviewed the new study findings for WebMD.

"It looks like it is possible that a brief period of laughter affects the hormones that control appetite in such a way that it might improve appetite," she tells WebMD.

That, in turn, might be helpful, she says, for the elderly who have so little appetite they are losing weight.

But she offers a caveat, too: "We don’t know the dose of laughter or how often the dose needs to be applied to make a real difference in people's health," she says.

Even so, she adds, she's not suggesting avoiding laughter at all; she endorses enjoying a good laugh whenever possible.

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