10 lies my mother told me
Mom: Don't go swimming for an hour after you eat or you'll get cramps and die.
There has never been a reported case of death due to cramping while swimming. Muscle cramps in the calves, feet, and hands and oxygen-deprivation stomach cramps while swimming are not uncommon but have never been linked to a death.
Intentionally crossing the eyes is never a cause of strabismus (crossed eyes); the eyes cannot get "stuck" in a crossed position.
Mom: Don't watch TV with the lights off. It will hurt your eyes.
In general you should limit the amount of TV you watch as it can be harmful to your eyes. However, ophthalmologists generally agree that watching TV in the dark doesn't cause any more harm than watching TV with lots of light.
Mom: You can't have any of my coffee. It will stunt your growth.
There is no compelling evidence that drinking coffee at a young age can stunt growth. Matter of fact a 30 year study of coffee drinkers showed no evidence of repressed growth.
90% of ulcers are caused by a Helicobacter pylori bacterial infection. Neither stress nor spicy foods cause ulcers. But in some cases they can make ulcers worse.
- What I need to know about Peptic Ulcers
- Spicy Food Off the Hook as Ulcer Cause--But Is It a Cure?
Mom: Eat your carrots. It will improve your eyesight.
This one is debatable. Carrots are a good supply of Vitamin A which is important for healthy eyesight there is no evidence that eyesight will improve.
Cold air does not cause a cold people do. A cold is a virus contracted through contact with other people. The reason for this myth appears to be that during cold weather people tend to stay indoors more; thereby increasing personal contact with others.
Toads do not have (or give) warts. Warts are caused by human papilloma virus. This is a human virus that is not carried or transported by other animals. The odd bumps on the back of a toad are not warts they are to help camouflage them in their natural habitat.
Gum, or anything else you swallow, will pass typically in a days time. Swallowing gum is not considered healthy but it definitely won't get stuck.
- Urban Legends Reference Pages: Old Wives' Tales (The Seven Year Glitch)
- Men's Fitness: Spit or swallow? Is it really that bad to swallow gum?
Probably not but mother was closes on this one. There doesn't appear to be any conclusive evidence either way regarding arthritis but it appears that there is some weak correlation that knuckle-cracking causes some damage to the hand.