Stubborn Body Myths That Just Won’t Die, Debunked by Science

  • metta

    Posts: 39169

    Jan 09, 2012 8:21 PM GMT


    10 Stubborn Body Myths That Just Won’t Die, Debunked by Science

    http://lifehacker.com/5873922/10-stubborn-body-myths-that-just-wont-die-debunked-by-science
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    Jan 09, 2012 8:29 PM GMT
    Ha! I actually had a nasty argument with my grandmother last year over Myth 7. I was visiting her and barefoot in her house, and every few minutes she nagged me to put on my shoes because she thought I would get sick (she has tile flooring, so yes, her floor was actually cold). I told her over and over again that neither a cold floor nor cold weather causes anyone to get sick, but she begged to differ. Finally I told her I'd stay barefoot so that I could get sick and she could take me to the doctor and pay for the visit.
  • disasterpiece

    Posts: 2991

    Jan 09, 2012 8:43 PM GMT
    I want Orexin-A now.
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    Jan 09, 2012 8:58 PM GMT
    Regarding Myth #7: I remember reading somewhere that while cold weather in and of itself won't give you a cold, lowering your core body temperature can make your immune system function less-than-optimally. So when you actually do come in contact rhinovirus, your immune system may not be as well-prepared as it could be to deal with the virus.

    As for Myth #2: Thank GAWD that this stupid "calories in - calories out" bullshit is starting to get chipped away at. Science journalist Gary Taubes does an excellent and simple thought-experiment on why counting calories is largely ineffective for weight loss...

    http://garytaubes.com/2010/12/inanity-of-overeating/

    Now, if you gain 40 pounds of fat over 20 years, that’s an average of two pounds of excess fat accumulation every year. Since a pound of fat is roughly equal to 3500 calories, this means you accumulate roughly 7000 calories worth of fat every year. Divide that 7000 by 365 and you get the number of calories of fat you stored each day and never burned – roughly 19 calories. Let’s round up to 20 calories, so we have a nice round number....

    So now the question: if all you have to do to become obese is store 20 extra calories each day on average in your fat tissue — 20 calories that you don’t mobilize and burn — what does overeating have to do with it? And why aren’t we all fat? Twenty calories, after all, is a bite or two of food, a swallow or two of soda or fruit juice or milk or beer. It is an absolutely trivial amount of overeating that the body then chooses, for reasons we’ll have to discuss at some point, not to expend, but to store as fat instead.


    Taubes makes a further point in one of his lectures that since overeating an extra 20 calories per day for 20 years is all it takes to hypothetically make someone obese, then how come those who err on the side of eating a little bit less (ie. UNDEREATING by 20 calories per day) don't look emaciated?
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    Jan 09, 2012 11:51 PM GMT
    Lol yup, I peed on my friend's neck when she had a [so we were told] spanish man'o'war' tentacle wrap around it - it didn't help at all. She was very thankful that I tried... you have no idea how hard it is to piss under the pressure of a woman screaming in pain as if she's being murdered.
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    Jan 10, 2012 12:03 AM GMT
    They forgot to mention that knuckle cracking doesn't give you arthritis. Just read about it.
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    Jan 10, 2012 2:46 AM GMT
    mightymanlet saidRegarding Myth #7: I remember reading somewhere that while cold weather in and of itself won't give you a cold, lowering your core body temperature can make your immune system function less-than-optimally. So when you actually do come in contact rhinovirus, your immune system may not be as well-prepared as it could be to deal with the virus.

    As for Myth #2: Thank GAWD that this stupid "calories in - calories out" bullshit is starting to get chipped away at. Science journalist Gary Taubes does an excellent and simple thought-experiment on why counting calories is largely ineffective for weight loss...

    http://garytaubes.com/2010/12/inanity-of-overeating/

    Now, if you gain 40 pounds of fat over 20 years, that’s an average of two pounds of excess fat accumulation every year. Since a pound of fat is roughly equal to 3500 calories, this means you accumulate roughly 7000 calories worth of fat every year. Divide that 7000 by 365 and you get the number of calories of fat you stored each day and never burned – roughly 19 calories. Let’s round up to 20 calories, so we have a nice round number....

    So now the question: if all you have to do to become obese is store 20 extra calories each day on average in your fat tissue — 20 calories that you don’t mobilize and burn — what does overeating have to do with it? And why aren’t we all fat? Twenty calories, after all, is a bite or two of food, a swallow or two of soda or fruit juice or milk or beer. It is an absolutely trivial amount of overeating that the body then chooses, for reasons we’ll have to discuss at some point, not to expend, but to store as fat instead.


    Taubes makes a further point in one of his lectures that since overeating an extra 20 calories per day for 20 years is all it takes to hypothetically make someone obese, then how come those who err on the side of eating a little bit less (ie. UNDEREATING by 20 calories per day) don't look emaciated?


    Well, all this isn't to say it's a zero-sum game. The body does try to adapt to its conditions, and of course genetics counts for a lot - some people just aren't programmed to gain weight easily, others (like me) have to really watch it to keep their weight stable.

    I agree with your main idea that it isn't as clean-cut as calories-in / calories-out - there are a lot of other variables - but take it from a former chubby that it was overeating that make me gain weight, and undereating that made me lose it.
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    Jan 10, 2012 2:55 AM GMT
    Bale02 saidLol yup, I peed on my friend's neck when she had a [so we were told] spanish man'o'war' tentacle wrap around it - it didn't help at all. She was very thankful that I tried... you have no idea how hard it is to piss under the pressure of a woman screaming in pain as if she's being murdered.


    That was plastic. She just wanted to see "it". icon_lol.gif
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    Jan 10, 2012 3:00 AM GMT
    Some of the points in this article are kind of stupid. High cholesterol doesn't cause heart disease? I suppose that's true in a literal sense - if that cholesterol is HDL's. But there are decades of serious scientific evidence - not old wives' tales - about high LDL cholesterol leading to cardiovascular problems.

    The point about obese people having a higher metabolism? Sure, since the body tries to adapt to its conditions - if it is fat, it is working to burn off the extra weight. If it is too thin, it works to conserve energy. So of course a fat person will have a higher metabolism than a thin person, but that's comparing apples to oranges. Two thin people (or two fat people) can very well have different metabolisms compared to each other, and have different results from eating the same amount.

    I'm proof. I have lost a lot of weight, and have about 12% body fat now, but to maintain it, I need to keep my average intake at about 1600 - 1800 calories a day. I know many people, though, who are skinny and complain that they eat and eat and eat and can't gain any weight. This is genetics and metabolism - I have a lower basal metabolism than those skinny people, and that means I have to eat less.

    And the point about not pissing on your friends? Don't spread that around. Pissing on your friends is fun.
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    Jan 10, 2012 11:27 AM GMT
    Some of the amazing research being done today will help us understand and break these myths.


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    Jan 10, 2012 11:57 AM GMT
    Bale02 saidLol yup, I peed on my friend's neck when she had a [so we were told] spanish man'o'war' tentacle wrap around it - it didn't help at all. She was very thankful that I tried... you have no idea how hard it is to piss under the pressure of a woman screaming in pain as if she's being murdered.


    I could have told you that its a myth haha

    Where was that? Canada? You get Spanish man o wars all the way up there??
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    Jan 10, 2012 4:10 PM GMT
    My personal experience can disprove the hairy palms myth.
  • jim_sf

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    Jan 10, 2012 4:17 PM GMT
    anon82059 saidAnd the point about not pissing on your friends? Don't spread that around. Pissing on your friends is fun.


    Only if they're into it.
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    Jan 10, 2012 5:59 PM GMT
    GreenHopper said
    Bale02 saidLol yup, I peed on my friend's neck when she had a [so we were told] spanish man'o'war' tentacle wrap around it - it didn't help at all. She was very thankful that I tried... you have no idea how hard it is to piss under the pressure of a woman screaming in pain as if she's being murdered.


    I could have told you that its a myth haha

    Where was that? Canada? You get Spanish man o wars all the way up there??


    Naw, we were in Barbados doing surveys on sea grass - ah the joys of school with a research center in the Caribbean.
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    Jan 10, 2012 6:07 PM GMT
    Let's get the nationality right, those freaky things are Portuguese, not Spanish!
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    Jan 10, 2012 6:09 PM GMT
    #2 argues against itself using the very thing it says is a myth.
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    Jan 10, 2012 6:17 PM GMT
    pocketnico saidLet's get the nationality right, those freaky things are Portuguese, not Spanish!


    Only if they are east of the Treaty of Tordesillas meridian.

    #HistoryGeekHumour
  • jim_sf

    Posts: 2094

    Jan 10, 2012 6:30 PM GMT
    AlphaTrigger said
    pocketnico saidLet's get the nationality right, those freaky things are Portuguese, not Spanish!


    Only if they are east of the Treaty of Tordesillas meridian.

    #HistoryGeekHumour


    #swoon, but who died and made you Pope of Cnidarians?
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    Jan 10, 2012 8:11 PM GMT
    jim_stl said
    AlphaTrigger said
    pocketnico saidLet's get the nationality right, those freaky things are Portuguese, not Spanish!


    Only if they are east of the Treaty of Tordesillas meridian.

    #HistoryGeekHumour


    #swoon, but who died and made you Pope of Cnidarians?


    Lets all make it relative: I'm pretty sure the jellyfish don't give a shit about where they were born. icon_smile.gif
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    Jan 10, 2012 8:14 PM GMT
    Bale02 said
    GreenHopper said
    Bale02 saidLol yup, I peed on my friend's neck when she had a [so we were told] spanish man'o'war' tentacle wrap around it - it didn't help at all. She was very thankful that I tried... you have no idea how hard it is to piss under the pressure of a woman screaming in pain as if she's being murdered.


    I could have told you that its a myth haha

    Where was that? Canada? You get Spanish man o wars all the way up there??


    Naw, we were in Barbados doing surveys on sea grass - ah the joys of school with a research center in the Caribbean.


    A see? I thought so . we get em here all the time...