Holiday Health Myths

‘Tis the season for cooler weather and holiday celebrations! Before you make merry, we checked out a few common holiday myths:

Eating too much sugar makes kids hyper [DEBUNKED, JAMA 1995]
Contrary to popular belief, this holiday myth has been proven false by many studies over the last few decades. Many parents already have the perception that their child will act out when given sugar, which makes them continue to believe in the stigma surrounding the “sugar high.”

There are more injuries and fires during the holidays [TRUE, ESFI 2015]
As the decorative lights start to go up for the holiday season, so do the odds of people falling off ladders or roofs of their homes. House fires also increase during the holiday season due to lit candles, so make sure to keep your candles at least a foot away from anything that could catch fire and blow them out before leaving the house or going to bed.

You can cure a hangover [DEBUNKED, ECNP 2015]
There is no known cure for hangovers, however, there are some ways to help your body before the fact such as staying hydrated, getting some food in your stomach and watching the number of drinks you are having.

Heart attacks are more common between Christmas and New Year’s [TRUE, AHA 2004]
Unfortunately, this is true due to cold weather increasing blood pressure and other risk factors in people with heart conditions. The keys to lessen the chance of a heart attack during this time are to get plenty of exercise, eating healthy, getting enough sleep and trying to keep stress levels low.

Giving makes you as happy as eating chocolate [TRUE, APS 2014]
Did you know that when you make a gift to a worthy cause, your brain acts in a similar way to when you are eating chocolate? It’s true—according to a fMRI study, when people give, the mid-brain region of the brain responds—the same region that’s responsible for our cravings and pleasure rewards.

Have a happy, healthy holiday season!

Make your year-end-gift to USF Health