Turns out that the holiday myths just keep pouring in. According to a new study done at the Indiana University School of Medicine, we can add the following myths to our Christmas list:
Suicides increase over the holidays? Not true.
[A] pervasive myth is that more people try to commit suicide over the holidays, but numerous studies have failed to find a peak of suicides during the holidays, according to [Doctors] Vreeman and Carroll.
Dr. Marc Siegel, an associate professor of medicine at New York University School of Medicine, said he wasn’t surprised that there was not an increase in suicides during the holidays, because people tend to be surrounded by other people in December. He wondered, however, what happens after the holidays.
“There are such high expectations around the holidays,” he said. “Holiday anxiety and depression are very common, so a better question might be whether or not people are more unhappy during the holidays.”
We lose most of our heat through our heads? Not true.
Your head, like the rest of your body, releases heat, but it’s no more important to shield your head than to protect other parts of your body against the cold.
There’s a cure for hangovers? Not true.
Another common holiday myth surrounds hangover cures. Although most everyone has a favorite that they swear works for them, the only real cure for a hangover is not to drink excessively in the first place. Also, Siegel pointed out that some hangover cures, such as aspirin or acetaminophen, can actually create troubles, such as liver problems or stomach irritation, in people who’ve been drinking.
Sugar makes kids hyper? Not true.
At least 12 double-blind, randomized, controlled trials have looked at the effect of sugar on children, and none found evidence for the sugar-equals-hyperactivity myth. In one study, children weren’t even given sugar, but their parents were told they had been — and parents who thought their children had eaten sugar rated their behavior as more hyperactive.
Eating at night makes you gain weight? Not true.
[E]ating at night won’t make you fat as long as what you’re eating doesn’t put you over your normal daily calorie total. Generally, they said, people who eat at night tend to gain weight, because those calories consumed nocturnally are in addition to three regular meals and snacks.
And in case you think that Christmas is the only time of year when people are duped into believing unfounded myths, then the good Doctors have some more myths for you to reconsider:
- People should drink at least eight glasses of water a day
- We use only 10% of our brains
- Hair and fingernails continue to grow after death
- Shaving hair causes it to grow back faster, darker, or coarser
- Reading in dim light ruins your eyesight
- Eating turkey makes people especially drowsy
- Mobile phones create considerable electromagnetic interference in hospitals.
There’s no scientific basis for any of those commonly held beliefs!
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