The Biggest Medical Myths Debunked
No, going outside in the cold with wet hair will not make you more vulnerable to getting sick, and other health misconceptions
From the LifeMinute.TV Team
August 29, 2023
You have probably heard them for years, and they get passed from one decade to the next. Here are various health myths and the reality behind them.
Myth: 10,000 steps a day is optimal to achieve health benefits.
Fact: Walking that many steps was a marketing slogan introduced by a Japanese company to sell a pedometer. You can achieve benefits before you complete 10,000 steps. A 2021 study found that adults taking at least 7,000 steps lowered their mortality rate by 50-70 percent. But increasing your daily physical activity is more important than any actual number.
Myth: The flu vaccine can give you a mild case of the flu.
Fact: You may experience redness, soreness, or a headache, but these are mild side effects, not the flu. The vaccines either contain inactivated virus (the viruses are no longer infectious) or a particle designed to look like a flu virus to your immune system.
Myth: Sitting too close to the TV will damage your vision.
Fact: There is no scientific evidence your eyes will be ruined from sitting right in front of the TV. Children may focus up close without eyestrain better than adults, so they could develop the habit of plunking down in front.
Myth: A cold shower or drinking coffee will sober you up.
Fact: That may sound like a sobering experience, but the only way to get there is for the body to eliminate the alcohol. The liver metabolizes approximately one standard drink per hour. That’s equivalent to about one 12-ounce can of regular beer, one 5-ounce glass of white wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof whiskey. If there is excessive alcohol in the blood, the liver cannot accelerate the detoxification process.
Myth: All processed foods are unhealthy.
Fact: Processed foods are not created equal. For example, nut butter without added sugar or oil, tuna packed in water, or frozen vegetables without added salt or sugar are processed but can be part of a healthy diet. Check nutritional labels and select foods that most closely resemble their natural state.
Myth: Wet hair in cold air causes the common cold and increases your risk of getting sick.
Fact: Colds are caused by viruses. You cannot catch one from going outside with wet hair. It will also not increase your risk of getting sick. The common cold is transmitted through bodily fluids, like when someone is sick, sneezes, or coughs. You are more likely to get sick during fall and winter, but that may be because more people are indoors, where germs can be passed more easily.