Holiday medical myths BUSTED

The most heat escapes from your head… The holiday season has the most suicides… Poinsettias are toxic… Too much sugar makes the kids go crazy… Eating before you go to bed will make you fat… You can cure a hangover with ____…

These are all statements we’ve heard now and again as the holiday season approaches. But do they hold any truths?

Kids, no matter what your mom and dad tell you, sugar does not make you hyper. Drink as much coke, eat as much candy, and inhale as much Kool-Aid as you want- sugar does not make you hyperactive.

In 12 double-blinded controlled trials, scientists examined how the behavior of children may differ on sugar-filled diets and sugarless diets. They concluded that there were no differences. What’s even more amazing is that when the parents rated their children’s behavior, even when there was no sugar consumed,  the parents thought their kids were reacting to sugar, where in reality, they were behaving normally. It’s all in the parents’ mind that sugar makes their kids overly active.

With the stresses of family get-togethers, cold and dark winter days, loneliness, it’s no wonder why it was thought that the suicide rate is significantly higher around the Yule times. Though again, this holds no truth.

Studies done around the world show that there is no scientific evidence that there is a higher rate in suicide come the holiday season. More interestingly, suicide is actually more common during the warmer months- Go figure.

Are the common holiday bouquets, poinsettias toxic? There are 22,793 cases of poinsettia poisoning to date- not one revealed significant poisoning. No one died, no one was hospitalized… A study looking at poinsettia ingestion by rats also concluded that even in large amounts, equivalent to eating 500-600 of the flower’s leaves or 1.5 pounds of its sap, the flower has no toxicity.

Mother was semi-correct when she told you that you lose most of your body heat through your head. You do lose heat through your head, however you lose heat anywhere on your body that isn’t covered. So this one kind of justifies your mom dressing you in that bright, vomit colored, fruffy hat she knitted just for you. Aaawww…

At first glance, it seems to make sense that if you eat before bedtime, you’re more likely to store those calories through the night. But it just isn’t true.

It all comes down to one thing; if you eat more calories than you burn off, then yes, you will gain weight. However, eating proportionate meals throughout the day, even right before bed time, if it doesn’t exceed the calories burned, you have nothing to worry about. Save a midnight snack for me!

Ahh, the age old question- how to cure a hangover? Sorry to disappointment, but there’s no magical remedy that will take the edge off the morning after having too much fun. A hangover is caused by drinking too much- too much alcohol consumption. So if you don’t want to get a hangover, don’t drink so much. Simple as that.

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