According to an article in the British Medical Journal and reported at the BBC web site there are some long-standing holiday medical myths that even some medical professionals still believe to be true.
The first holiday medical myth is commonly believed: there are remedies to cure a hangover. The only cure for a hangover, according to researchers, is to either refrain from drinking alcohol altogether or drink very small amounts. All purported cures simply don’t work. And a hair of the dog that bit you—another drink—certainly doesn’t work either.
Sweets are generally more available over the holidays and most parents believe that allowing children to eat these sweets will make them hyperactive. According to recent studies the key ingredient in sweets—sugar—doesn’t increase hyperactivity in children. Scientists did find that this hyperactivity myth from sweets may come from the imagination of the parents. When parents think their children have consumed a sugar drink they tend to believe and label a child’s behavior as hyperactive when in fact it may just be normal. Still, too much sugar is never good for either the parent or the child.
There is a myth that you can lose 40% to 45% of your body heat through your head. Researchers contend you don’t lose any more heat from your head than the rest of your body. So putting on a hat in cold weather while the rest of your body is lightly dressed will help only marginally in keeping you warm.
We often read about the fact that there are more suicides during the holiday season than any time of year because of stress and the depressing, dark, cold days of winter. However, according to research, this contention is besmirched by the facts: suicides around the world peak in warmer months.
And lastly, many of us have heard this: that eating late at night will result in weight gain. Researchers have found that the main culprit in weight gain is overeating rather than the time that you eat.