How about this one? You should wait an hour after eating before going swimming. True or false? False. The digestive system will not make your muscles cramp and cause you to drown. Blood flow to the muscles will decrease, since more blood is directed to the digestive system to break down the meal you just consumed, meaning you may have less energy. However, swimming immediately after eating will not cause one to drown. Go ahead and dive right in after enjoying that cheeseburger.
We all know that eating at night makes you fat . . . or does it? That is a myth. According to registered dietician, Dr. Jeannie Gassaniga-Moloo, who is also a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, don’t worry if you are forced to eat dinner later than usual. “The time of day a person eats is not as important for overall weight gain as the amount of calories eaten during the day.”
During the holidays, we feed our children much more sugar in the form of cakes, pastry and candy. Does sugar make the kids hyperactive, or is that a myth? You’ll be happy to learn that according to twelve placebo-controlled studies, kids who eat sugar do not act any different than those who did not. Another myth.
And speaking of kids, did your mom ever tell you that if you cross your eyes, they’ll stay that way forever? Well, according to Ophthalmology Professor W. Walker Motley, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, that warning is yet another myth. “There’s no harm in voluntary eye crossing,” the good doctor tells us. But it sure did sound scary when mom said it.
The bottom line about myths is that any advice that is anecdotal in nature should be researched. Don’t take advice at face value every time someone tells you something. Ask an expert, or research it yourself. The internet provides instant access to authoritative sources that can help you decide what is a myth and what is not.