WASHINGTON—Saying the practice accounted for a sizable portion of the nation’s physical activity on any given day, a new report published Tuesday by researchers at the National Institutes of Health revealed that Americans currently get 44 percent of their exercise from licking things. “We found that licking—mainly food but also plates, bowls, utensils, and fingers—accounts for almost half the physical exertion that takes place in the U.S.,” said NIH researcher Rae Kilpatrick, adding that straining with one’s tongue to retrieve the last remaining morsel or crumb from deep within snack packaging accounted for 24 percent of the exercise alone. “The data makes sense—licking provides a high-intensity, low-impact workout with a quick recovery time, allowing people to recharge and start licking something else often within seconds.” Kilpatrick went on to say that the remaining exercise performed by Americans was split almost equally between digging around for the good stuff and just tipping the whole damn thing into their mouths.

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