Holiday myths debunked: Weight gain, suicides, traffic deaths

The most persistent holiday health myths are based on kernels of truth. Here are often-repeated adages and why they’re off the mark.

Myth 1: You gain massive weight during holidays.

Between Thanksgiving’s turkey, heaps of holiday cookies and weeks of parties, you’re bound to gain some extra padding over the holidays, right?

People tend to gain weight — about one to two pounds on average, according to several studies. So holiday weight gain may not be as dramatic as it sounds.

Before giving yourself license to eat whatever you want this week, do the math: One or two pounds a year can add up quickly.

And that one to two pounds is likely only if you’re a person with a normal body mass index. If you’re overweight or obese, the weight gained is more likely to increase — up to five pounds.

Children gain about 1.2 pounds during the holiday break, according to a 2010 study published in Clinical Medicine & Research. But they also grew about 0.32 inches, which decreased their body mass index by 0.04%.

Full story about holiday myths at CNN Health

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

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Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

Antipsychotics linked to diabetes in kids

Antipsychotics have already been linked to type II diabetes in adults. Now a new study shows a connection between these medications and the chronic medical condition in kids as well.

Researchers report in the journal JAMA Psychiatry that children taking antipsychotics have three times the risk of developing type II diabetes, compared to children taking other psychotropic medications (drugs prescribed to treat mental disorders).

The study authors were surprised by the magnitude of the results. But the findings make sense, given that the side effects of antipsychotics include weight gain and insulin resistance, said Wayne A. Ray, study co-author and researcher in the Department of Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. However, the study shows an association, not a cause-effect relationship.

It’s not uncommon for an adult taking antipsychotic medications to gain 20 to 40 pounds in a relatively short period of time, Ray said. Similar weight gain effects have been observed in children, proportionate to their body sizes.

Full story of antipsychotics and diabetes at CNN

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education