Holiday health myths, busted

By Staff Writer • Published: December 24th, 2014
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Everyone knows what happens when a kid has too many candy canes or sugar cookies, and that the best way to stay snug while you build a snowman is to keep your head safely tucked inside a hat. Right?


It turns out there are more than a few myths that need to be busted about staying healthy during the holiday season.

First, eating sugary holiday goodies might not actually send kids into hyper drive, as most folks believe. Scientists have yet to find a concrete link between eating sugar and hyperactivity in kids. At least one study shows that parents’ perceptions of sugar’s effects could be partly responsible for this notion. Other experts suspect the situations children are in when they eat sugar may explain the link. Birthday parties and holiday celebrations would probably get kids moving even if they are noshing on broccoli instead of candy.

Does this mean kids can go crazy at the cookie platter? No. Too much sugar can still lead to obesity and diabetes. But a cookie or two in moderation is OK.

Now, what about the hat myth? Some suspect wearing a hat keeps you toasty because your body releases more heat from your head. Not true. The same amount of heat is released from any point on your body.

Another holiday health myth we need to bust involves the pretty poinsettias that decorate many a holiday display. While its true this plant can be toxic if consumed in large quantities, this is extremely rare. This applies to little ones and pets, too.

And will chomping on a snack by the fireplace late at night cause you to pack on the pounds? Nope. Experts say a snack is a snack, no matter when you eat it.

Lastly, if you are running late to a holiday party going out in the cold with a wet head from the shower isn’t going to make you sick. You’ll just be cold. So grab a hat.

Hmmph. Next thing you know, we’ll find out Santa isn’t real.