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Myth or Fact?

Ever wondered if the advice you get from family and friends is actually keeping you healthy? Here’s a look at the truth behind seven common health sayings (or scoldings).

  1. You should starve a fever.
    Myth! Starving yourself is never a good idea. When you’re sick, the best approach is to stay hydrated, eat nutritious foods in moderation, and rest. And, if you have a fever, you need extra fluids.
  2. Carrying a wallet in your back pocket can cause back pain.
    Fact! Your wallet can press on nerves and cause pain in your back, legs, and even neck.
  3. Cracking your knuckles can cause arthritis.
    Myth! There is no evidence to support this claim.
  4. Reading in dim light can harm your eyesight.
    Myth! Reading in dim light may temporarily strain your eyes, but it will not lead to permanent damage.
  5. You shouldn’t use the telephone during a thunderstorm.
    Fact! Telephone lines and metal pipes conduct electricity. So don’t use the phone or any electrical appliances until the storm is over. Also, don’t shower or take a bath during an electrical storm.
  6. If you don’t dress properly for winter weather, you’ll catch a cold.
    Myth! Colds and flu are caused by viruses that are more common in the winter. You might be cold if you don’t dress warmly, but you’re not more likely to catch a cold.
  7. You’re sleepy because you just ate turkey.
    Myth! Turkey does contain tryptophan, an amino acid that can cause sleepiness. But chicken, ground beef, cheese, and pork contain just as much or more tryptophan than turkey. However, eating a big meal can make you want to curl up for a nap.