Every good geek knows the first rule of bundling up on a cold winter day: tape up your ankles and fill your trousers with toasty, insulating popcorn! No, wait…wrong rule. I think we’re looking for "be sure and wear a hat, since you lose most of your body heat through your head." Sounds better, doesn’t it?
Actually, no. Turns out the one is about as valid as the other, according to actual research done by the Center for Health Policy at Indiana University and published in the British Medical Journal.* That’s "actual research" as opposed to "a flawed interpretation of a vaguely scientific experiment by the US military in the 1950s."
"The face, head and chest are more sensitive to changes in temperature than the rest of the body, making it feel as if covering them up does more to prevent heat loss," according to the report. The Center’s researchers say that covering the head is no more or less effective than covering anything else.
One more childhood myth busted.
Not content to leave well enough alone, the Center went on to investigate other chestnuts, like "sugar makes kids hyper," "suicide rates go up at Christmas," "snacking at night makes you fat," "poinsettias kill" and a variety of reputed remedies for the dread holiday hangover. Not investigated was "spending too much time debunking the things your mother told you may make you less interesting at holiday parties." Maybe next year.
via The Guardian.
*The BMJ provides only an abstract. Check the Guardian article for more detail.