Holiday myths debunked

Sweets don’t cause hyperactivity, eating late won’t put on pounds and there is no cure for a hangover, according to researchers Rachel Vreeman and Aaron Carroll at the Indiana School of Medicine. They combed through previous scientific studies and searched the Web for evidence to support or refute common beliefs such as one tagging poinsettia plants as toxic. Don’t worry, they aren’t, reports Reuters.

Many parents think sugar from sweets, chocolates and other sources makes children hyperactive but research shows this is not the case. Regardless of what parents might believe, sugar is not to blame for out-of-control little ones," the researchers wrote in the British Medical Journal.

nother myth that eating late at night causes you to gain more weight is not true, nor that most body heat escapes through the head, putting undue importance on woolen hats when temperatures drop. "If this were true, humans would be just as cold if they went without trousers as if they went without a hat," they said. "But this patently is not the case."

And for revelers confident they have the trick to prevent or cure a hangover, the researchers say moderation is the only way to escape that pounding headache. "From aspirin to bananas to Vegemite and water, Internet searches present seemingly endless options for preventing or treating alcohol hangovers," they said, but added, "No scientific evidence, however, supports any cure or effective prevention for alcohol hangovers."

Enjoy your sweets, poinsettia plants and your late night snack, and don’t forget to leave a special treat for Santa. All of us at Food Processing wish you and your family a happy, healthy holiday season and prosperous 2009.