“You Should Drink 8 Glasses Of Water A Day” And Other Common Medical Myths

Medical myths, no matter how many times they’re disproven, seem to creep back like ancient superstitions that people follow without much supporting evidence.

August 14, 2017

What so-called health advice do you follow daily that is actually hocus-pocus?

Here are the top eight most common medical myths that you can officially ignore.

1. You lose most of your body heat through your head.

“Wear a hat—you’ll catch a cold!” says your mother as you sprint out of the house. The myth that heat is lost from the head more than any other part of the body is
. The study followed and x-rayed patients over a five-year period, separating those whose scans confirmed the presence of arthritis into one group and those without arthritis into another.

Surprisingly, it turned out that participants who reported no knuckle-cracking behavior had slightly higher rates of arthritis (18.1 percent versus 21.5 percent) than those who admitted to cracking their knuckles.

Arthritis can be caused by normal wear and tear of the joints, an infection or injury, or an autoimmune disorder. But anxiety-ridden knuckle-crackers can rest easy knowing that their nervous habit is no more dangerous to their health than nail biting or foot tapping.

6. Sitting too close to the TV ruins your eyesight.

When television sets were first introduced, some color models emitted high amounts of radiation that could cause eye damage. This led experts to recommend that adults and children sit as far away as possible from screens

However, TV and computer monitor safety has been regulated since the ’60s.

So, even though sitting ridiculously close to a screen makes your eyes work harder, it won’t do any permanent damage to them.

Same goes for reading or doing work in the dark. The lack of light might result in eyestrain, but overall, ophthalmologists agree that it’s genetics and age that cause your eyesight to go, not your late-night reading habit.

7. Eating at night makes you fat.

Feeling guilty about your late-night snacking habit? Let us put your mind at ease! Studies show that it doesn’t matter what time of day that you eat as long as you maintain the appropriate calories eaten to calories burned ratio.

The secret of weight gain and weight loss lies in simple mathematics —you must burn as many calories as you eat in order to stay the same weight. If you eat more and exercise less, you’ll gain weight.

Conversely, if you eat less and exercise more, you’ll lose weight.

It doesn’t matter what time you eat your meals, although studies do show that those who snack at night, have a tendency to mindlessly eat with disregard for serving size. This may cause them to eat more than they realize. If you’re a nighttime snacker, keep your calories in check by pouring a serving size of your late-night meal and stowing the package away.

8. Sugar makes kids hyperactive.

Bad news for parents! Your child’s restless, unruly behavior can no longer be blamed on their high-sugar snacks.

Research studying how children reacted to diets containing different amounts of sugar found that no amount of sugar (artificial or natural) affected their behavior—not even in participants diagnosed with attention deficit–hyperactivity disorder.

Where a noticeable response did occur was in the parents. 

When told that their children were given sugar (even if they hadn’t been), parents automatically believed their children were acting differently even though they were not.

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