Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Fallacies I will not pass on to my child

Going outside barefoot or with wet hair, or without warm clothes in cold weather will make you sick. Alternately, sleeping with wet hair will cause an earache.

Lies Lies LIES

There is only one way a person will catch a cold and that is by coming into contact with a cold virus. Certainly, more people get sick in the winter but that is because they tend to stay indoors more during that time of year - remaining in closer contact with other people and potentially in closer contact with their germs.

Getting wet or cold does not weaken the immune system to the point that it would cause someone to catch a cold. On the other hand, if a person has an already weakened immune system, being chilled can reduce that person’s ability to fight off a cold virus.

Additionally, while the wet hair doesn’t hurt, water in your ears, from swimming or bathing, can irritate and break down the skin in the ear canal and allow bacteria or fungi to penetrate and infect the ear.

Sugar causes hyperactivity

Lies Lies LIES

Repeated research published in medical journals disproves this theory. These studies find no discernible difference in behavior between children eating sugar and those who are not. This myth probably started as a "self-fulfilling prophecy." Parents believe that sugar affects behavior, so when their child becomes overly active, they blame the sugar. Children ingest higher amounts of sugar during exciting events such as holidays and parties and therefore it is common for adults to blame a child's behavior changes on the increased sugar intake. More than 100 research studies done on this subject all point to little if any effect of sugar on children. There is also no difference between the effect of sugar on ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactive disorder) children and non-ADHD children with regard to behavior. Furthermore, Sugar does Not cause ADHD.

Eating chocolate causes acne.

Lies Lies LIES

This is one of the oldest myths. Extensive scientific studies have not found a single connection between diet and acne. In other words, chocolate, french fries, pizza and other fast foods do not cause acne. It does make sense to limit fatty foods to prevent obesity and cardiovascular disease, however. Studies have shown that foods with a high iodine content (such as shellfish) may aggravate existing acne, but does not cause it.

Acne is not related to dirt on the skin or greasy foods. It is caused by inflammation under the skin, not dirt on the skin's surface. Keeping the face clean is always good, but scrubbing could make acne worse.

Children must be made to eat what's good for them whether they want to or not.

Lies Lies LIES

Study after study has shown that very young children will eat what's good for them even when surrounded by unhealthy, rich foods, if they are left alone. It serves no purpose to force kids to eat things they dislike or to eat more than they want. Rather such practice cause food to become a tool used for resisting authority and sets kids up for eating disorders later on in life. Pressuring a child to eat has been implicated in causing anorexia, bulimia, or obesity later in life. While it is always appropriate to limit kids' consumption of junk foods, it is best to let the child's appetite be your guide. Children are the only humans that use food for the right reason: fuel. They eat more when they are growing and less when they are not in a growth phase. Don't make mealtime a battle ground.


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