Happy Mother’s Day! If you’re a mom, take advantage of the morning. Send your husband on the weekly grocery store run (kids in tow), relax with a good book and make sure someone cooks you brunch (cleanup included). We all love our moms but when it comes to health advice they don’t always know best. Yesterday morning on Fox and Friends I debunked some health myths our mom’s often told us as kids.
Myth #1 Sitting too close to the TV will ruin your eyes
Thankfully, sitting close to the TV won’t result in permanent eye damage. Rather, sitting too close to the TV causes eyestrain. Eyestrain manifests itself as headache, blurry vision, eye soreness and difficulty focusing and resolves quickly with eye rest. Interestingly, children can focus at closer distances without eyestrain better than adults. So, kids sitting close to the TV are likely quite comfortable viewing at that distance.
This myth likely started in the 1950’s or 60’s when TVs emitted radiation which could actually damage eyes. Now, TV components are adequately protected so radiation is no longer a concern.
Myth #2 If swallowed, chewing gum stays in your stomach for 7 years
Chewing gum, of course, does not remain in the stomach for 7 years. Three of the four major ingredients in chewing gum can be broken down by the acid and enzymes in the stomach. The fourth ingredient, gum resin, which makes gum chewy cannot be broken down. However, gum resin is moved through the digestive system by peristalsis, smooth muscle movements in the stomach and intestines, and is then eliminated.
In the past, chewing gum was considered low class so parents likely spread this myth to keep their kids from picking up the habit.
Myth #3 Soda is best for settling your stomach when you’re sick
Many of us were given a Sprite or 7UP at the first sign of nausea as children. However, soda can actually make symptoms of gastroenteritis worse. Carbonation contributes to bloating exacerbating stomach cramps and the sugar in soda can intensify nausea and vomiting. The best beverage for children suffering from gastroenteritis is one with low sugar and that contains electrolytes.
Myth #4 Snacking will ruin your dinner
Snacking, if done right, doesn’t have to ruin your dinner. Snacking can stabilize your blood sugar and curb hunger so that you make better choices when it comes to mealtime. A snack should be just that, a snack, rather than a mini meal. Nutrient dense foods that are high in fiber will be most beneficial for the body and keep you fuller longer. So, snack on fruits and veggies and your appetite should be good to go come dinner time.
Myth #5 Sugar makes you hyper
Surprisingly, a large body of evidence shows that sugar does not make kids hyper. Sugar releases the neurotransmitter serotonin that has a calming effect on the body. Likely, the excitement parents notice when kids act up post sugar consumption is a result of environment. Kids eat sugar in excess at birthday parties, holidays, and other celebrations which are stimulating and can result in hyperactivity.
In case you missed it, check out my Mother’s Day Fox and Friends appearance clip.
Happy Mother’s Day!