Real Fact 103
Frowning burns more calories than smiling.

(Notes from Mrs. Feldman: Great job, looking at so many different sources. So today, 4/7, you will write, right below these notes, your Conclusions. Write about the different sources and how you could or couldn't prove this fact.)

For cheeks: Sit. Relax. Smile, keeping your lips closed. Now suck in your cheeks and hold them in while you count 8 seconds. Relax and repeat at least ten times. This is a good one to do while driving, as it requires no hands to perform. Another exercise for your cheeks is simply to smile as wide as you can (lips closed) as you imagine you are trying to touch your ears with the corners of your mouth.
It looks sort of reliable but we are not completely sure.


Constantly wear a natural smile as often as you can remember. Execute it with either smiling with your lips closed or smiling with your teeth showing.

Close your lips and do a natural smile. Then suck both your cheeks as in doing the “fish face." Hold this position for 5 to 8 seconds and relax. Repeat this procedure 5 times.
Begin with mouth closed. Puff your right cheek, hold it for 8 to 10 seconds and relax. Do the same for the left cheek and repeat this procedure five times for each side.

Perform an exaggerated smile in front of the mirror. Close your lips and smile as wide as you can, as if you are trying to touch both your ears with the corners of your mouth. Hold this position for 8 to 10 seconds and relax. Repeat this procedure five times.
We think that it’s interesting. It could be reliable depending on who posted it.

"It takes one more muscle to smile than to frown, according to plastic surgeon David H. Song, MD, FACS, assistant professor at the University of Chicago Hospitals.

Newspapers around the globe assure us, "Frowning takes more muscles than smiling,"
13 to smile, 33 to frown - The Washington Post.
10 to smile, 100 to frown - The New York Times,
4 to smile, 64 to frown - The Hindu. An urban myth?

How many muscles does it take to frown?

How many muscles does it take to smile?
in a recent report by oxford university they have discovered that you use 23 muscles to smile and 11 to frown .
This site doesn’t seem reliable because there are a bunch of different answers on one site.

A long time ago I heard the adage that it takes something like 43 muscles to frown but only 17 muscles to smile, ergo, we should just smile because it's easier.
It seems a little reliable but not that much.

We also looked at a page on

We decided that the majority of the posts agree that frowning uses more muscles than smiling. This possibly means that frowning does burn more calories than smiling. But not every site says so, we can't be positively sure…

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