Busting Health Myths from Mom

Did you get any of these when you were younger? Was mom actually right?

“Don’t crack your knuckles; you’ll get arthritis!”
Status: Busted.
The sound we hear during knuckle cracking is simply nitrogen gas as it’s pulled between joints when they separate as we “crack” them. And no, cracking knuckles doesn’t lead to arthritis, but over time it can weaken your grip strength and your fingers. So, while it doesn’t cause arthritis, it’s still a better idea not to do it!

“Wait 30 minutes after eating to go in the pool!”
Status: Confirmed AND Busted.
Scientifically, the myth’s busted. The idea of avoiding the pool after eating comes from the fact that when we digest food, blood rushes to the stomach—leaving our extremities vulnerable to cooler temperatures. While the stomach does need more blood to help us digest, our circulatory system provides all the blood our extremities need. It’s fine to go in the pool after a meal—however, if you overeat and then attempt strenuous or tiresome activity, you may experience stomach cramps. Keep the food in moderation and you’ll be fine!

“Don’t sit too close to the TV; you’ll strain your eyes!”
Status: Confirmed.
While you definitely won’t go blind, sitting too close to the TV could give you eye fatigue and a serious headache, just like reading in dim lighting. Sitting back at least five feet is a good distance.

“Coffee will stunt your growth!”
Status: Busted!
Genetics have far more to do with growth than caffeine! A study of 81 adolescents over six years showed that even the high-caffeine-consuming ones showed no difference in bone density than their low-caffeine-consuming counterparts. However, caffeine is still a strong stimulant! Use discretion when providing youngsters with high-caffeine beverages.

What about you? Have you heard any parental myths you’ve since busted or come to believe?

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Jessica P.
My mom was big on making sure we didnt go on the pool after eating