Here are 5-holiday myths, including diet and dieting myths, that have recently been disproved by researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine:
1. Nighttime eating will make you fat.
Although some studies seem to support this, nighttime eating doesn’t necessarily cause obesity or weight gain.
It doesn’t matter when you eat; it’s how much you eat that counts.
If you eat more calories than you burn off, then you’ll gain weight. So if you’re eating those extra calories at night, then nighttime eating can cause you to gain weight.
But you can just as easily gain weight by eating too much during the day.
And conversely, you can safely eat at night as long as you aren’t eating too many calories overall for that 24-hour period.
2. Eating sugar causes children to be hyperactive.
There have been 12 or more studies to confirm that kids, including those with attention deficit disorder, don’t change their behavior based on how much sugar they’ve consumed.
It doesn’t matter whether the sugar comes from chocolate, other candy, or natural sources.
But these studies have shown that many parents think their kids are more hyperactive after eating sugar. Even if the kids have NOT eaten sugar.
So there is some evidence that the link between a kid’s sugar consumption and hyperactivity may be in the parent’s head. (Hey, that’s what the researchers said, not me… don’t send me angry letters.)
3. Most of your body heat is lost through your head.
Any uncovered part of your body will lose heat when you’re out in the cold.
But the reason this myth has persisted for so long is that a military study from long ago dressed participants in arctic survival suits without any head coverings.
Then their loss of body heat was measured in cold temperatures.
Well, duh, of course, the most heat was lost through their heads. That was the only uncovered part of their bodies.
Now the researchers believe that if the same study had put the participants in swimsuits, only about 10% of their body heat would have been lost through their heads.
4. Suicides rise over the holidays.
Even though the holidays can be times of loneliness and depression for some people, many studies from around the world have confirmed that there is no increase in suicides over the holidays.
In fact, more suicides occur during sunny, warm times of the year.
But the researchers caution that suicidal thoughts should always be taken seriously, no matter the time of year.
5. Hangovers can be cured.
There is no scientific evidence that hangovers can be cured by any “remedy.”
The best way to cure a hangover is not to get one… which means you should drink alcohol in moderate amounts or not at all.
So those are the 5 dieting and other holiday myths that have been disproven this year.