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5 of The Craziest Health Myths Debunked

When anyone can type their symptoms into Google, it’s hardly surprising that there's a huge rise in self-diagnosis...

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When anyone can type their symptoms into Google, it’s hardly surprising that there's a huge rise in self-diagnosis. Over half of Americans have lost faith in their doctors and are pretty much prepared to take health advice from an internet forum, rather than visit their practitioner. The increase in social media and our ability to send content viral has also have given rise to some pretty crazy health myths around the globe.

So, in case you believed that sugar was responsible for hyperactivity, or anything other than germs cause colds, let me set you straight. Here are five of the craziest health myths debunked.

1. You’ll Catch a Cold If You Get Cold

This is probably the craziest heath myth of all time, handed down from generation to generation. For anyone whose grandma told them to wrap up warm to avoid catching a cold, this common misconception is bred into their beliefs. But if getting cold, or spending too long outside in the winter weather doesn’t make you sick, what is it about the winter months that causes germs and viruses to spread like wildfire?

CNN questioned experts from leading medical centers in New York to set the rumor straight. According to Doctor Segal-Maurer, we can’t lay the blame on the cold weather, but on what we do once the cold weather starts. "We all run indoors, where air is recycled and we're often in close quarters with other people and viruses. We all sneeze on top of each other." Yuck. Want to avoid a cold this winter? Spend more time outside getting cold and less time inside catching one.

2. Vaccines Cause Autism

There’s a lot of misinformation, scandalous stories and rumors about the unwanted side effects of vaccines. Whether it’s out of fear of injecting ourselves with a life-threatening disease, or the fact that we really believe the hype, vaccines get a pretty bad rap. And that can lead to unnecessary epidemics, like the recent outbreak of measles in Minnesota. Parents believed that rumors saying the MMR vaccine caused autism were true. In actual fact, they were made up almost two decades ago by a conspiracy theorist with a financial interest in seeing the vaccine tank.

The fact that these fake rumors are still believed almost twenty years later shows how quick we are to mistrust modern-day medicine. And even though you can rule out autism, you may still be reticent about injecting your child with a virus. Luckily, companies like VBI Vaccines are putting an end to our fears by making natural vaccines without chemicals or traces of deadly illness. So pretty soon there will be no risk of autism and zero chance of infection as well.

Consider the deadly Hepatitis B virus. Despite universal recommendation for newborn vaccinations, only 25% of U.S. adults are protected against Hepatitis B. Globally, two billion people have been infected with Hepatitis B, including 250 million who are contagious.

"Improving vaccination rates is how we save lives. We own a third generation Hepatitis B vaccine that has been safely administered to over 300,000 patients abroad, and we are bringing it to the U.S. as soon as possible under FDA supervision. This month we announced our final 4,800-patient trial. We expect to enroll study participants later this year," says VBI Vaccines CEO Jeff Baxter

3. Sugar Makes You Hyperactive

For parents nervously watching their kids chomping through a candy bar, expecting them to leap all over the living room later, you can relax. It’s a myth that sugar makes kids hyperactive. If you’ve ever found yourself at a kid’s birthday party with sweet treats, soda and cake around, you probably bought into this theory as well. But, according to Science News, sugar does not change kids’ behavior or affect their cognitive skills. It also doesn’t give you an excuse to blabber your way through an afternoon presentation.

It seems that the main effect of sugar is psychological, since it does appear to change people’s expectations. Parents are simply prepared for their children to act hyper after ingesting too much sugar. For the record though, there may be no truth behind this popular myth, but sugar’s still pretty bad for your teeth, weight and diet. It just won’t make you jump up and down on the spot or hyperbolize.

4. Cracking Your Joints Will Give You Arthritis

There’s no denying that hearing people cracking their joints is one of the most annoying sounds on earth. Right up there with scraping their nails down a chalkboard, if those things still exist. But, the good news for people who like to indulge in the occasional freeing of tension is that cracking your joints won’t give you arthritis, at least not according to a report by Harvard Medical School.

What does it do? Well, nothing really, except irritate the people around you. The popping sound might scare us into thinking that rubbing our joints together is somehow causing their deterioration. But it’s actually the result of a gas bubble that forms between your bones. So, unless you have chronic pain in your joints, or a nervous partner, crack away to your heart’s content.

5. Eating Carbs Makes You Fat

Ever since the Atkins diet craze, carbohydrates have become a four-letter word. Most of us consciously steer away from an excess of carbohydrates, and that’s probably a good thing, since it’s not healthy to have an excess of any one food group in your diet. But eating carbs won’t make you fat.

There are plenty of studies to make a case against carbohydrates, as they tend to raise insulin, which can lead to additional fat storage. But carbs are actually no worse for your waistline than any other nutrient. That doesn’t give you green light to eat all the pizza and drink all the soda you want, since junk food is full of sugar and fat, but carbs alone don’t make you gain weight.

So, go ahead and throw out the rule book, seeing as it’s all wrong anyway. Crack your knuckles, get your kids vaccinated, eat your carbs and sugar. And stay away from germ-ridden hoards of people in poorly ventilated places. These crazy health myths have just been exposed.

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