Scientists Say Horror Movies Can Help You Lose Weight

Halloween is a great time of year if you happen to be a fan of scary movies or just the horror genre in general, but if you’re like me, it also means snacking on a lot of extra junk food. Oh sure, you tell yourself that you’re just stocking up on extra candy in case you get more trick or treaters than last year, but then somehow you end up buying even more candy because somehow that original supply mysteriously disappears. Fortunately, there’s some good news coming out of The University of Westminster this year that suggests that watching horror movies can help offset that very problem. That’s right, putting yourself in a state of fright for about 90 minutes can burn approximately the same number of calories as taking a half-hour walk… how convenient! Here’s a brief explanation of how researchers arrived at this conclusion:


“Each of the ten films tested set pulses racing, sparking an increase in the heart rate of the case studies. As the pulse quickens and blood pumps around the body faster, the body experiences a surge in adrenaline. It is this release of fast acting adrenaline, produced during short bursts of intense stress (or in this case, brought on by fear), which is known to lower the appetite, increase the Basal Metabolic Rate and ultimately burn a higher level of calories.”

This study was commissioned by the U.K. DVD rental outlet LOVEFiLM, which means that the results are potentially a little biased and should be taken with a grain of salt. That being said, it kind of makes sense, although I’m sure it really depends on how scared a person gets and how intense a particular movie is. In this particular study, Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining was seemed to burn the most calories, which could be seen as an indication that it’s the scariest of the bunch. What do you think, is there any validity to this theory? What movies have probably burned the most calories for you? Check out the results of the study below.

1. The Shining: 184 calories
2. Jaws: 161 calories
3. The Exorcist: 158 calories
4. Alien: 152 calories
5. Saw: 133 calories
6. A Nightmare on Elm Street: 118 calories
7. Paranormal Activity: 111 calories
8. The Blair Witch Project: 105 calories
9. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: 107 calories
10. [Rec]: 101 calories

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  • Jack Burton

    They also make you hurl and lose your appetite.

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