Debunked! The 8 Common Health Myths And Misconceptions

Fables, wives’ tales, and myths we’ve heard them all before. We may not even remember the first time we heard many of these commonly said misconceptions. For many of us, they have become almost a “rule of thumb“ to our every day lives that we continue to loyally abide by. One thing is for certain, however, as silly as some of these myths are, they continue to circulate amongst people of all different backgrounds, generations, and beliefs. If you think you’re immune, then see if you can pick out the one truth among these myths.

Debunked! The 8 Common Health Myths And Misconceptions

  • Cracking knuckles causes arthritis
  • You should change your toothbrush after having a cold
  • Cell Phones can give you cancer
  • Organic food is pesticide free
  • Being cold gives you a cold
  • Toilet seats are covered in germs
  • Sugar makes kids hyper
  • Talcum powder is linked to ovarian cancer

Most urban myths seem plausible enough to require no evidence to back them up and the more things are repeated, the easier they become for us to believe. This could explain why after years of hearing these myths from sources like our parents or family members, they become more and more difficult for us to second-guess.
This is in part because it begins to sound familiar, and our instinct is to embrace the familiar and fear the unknown. While myths are generally harmless superstitions, we wanted to set the record straight so you can make smarter decisions about your health and finances.

Cracking Knuckles Causes Arthritis

False. While it may not be a pleasant sound to those around you, there is no scientific proof that cracking your knuckles, or other joints, will cause arthritis. It’s been neither proven to be beneficial, or harmful. But if doing so causes pain, there could be something else going on that needs examining.

You Should Change Your Toothbrush After Having A Cold

False. After recovering from a bug, your body has built up immunity to those germs making it virtually impossible to be infected again by the same virus. But, don’t share your toothbrush with anyone else, as they won’t have the same antibodies, and will most likely catch what you had.

Your Cell Phone Can Give You Cancer

Cell Phone Cancer

False. Cell phones and microwave ovens do emit low energy (non-ionizing) electromagnetic radiation, but the levels are not high enough to be a health risk. Currently there is no known link between non-ionizing EMR and cancer.

Organic Food Is Pesticide Free

False. The term “organic” has the tendency to be affiliated with the idea that food grown under that particular method of farming has not come into any contact with pesticides. Organic food is however applied with pesticides that are also said to be “organic”.
In other words, the pesticides are sourced from natural resources rather than synthetic pesticides – the types that are used during conventional farming practices. It’s important to keep in mind though, just because something is “natural” doesn’t mean it’s healthier. For example, there have been many finding between ingredients used in natural pesticides and their link to serious health illnesses like Parkinson’s disease and E-Coli poisoning.
Therefore, the best way to know about the food you’re consuming is to shop locally. By doing so, not only are you becoming familiar with where your food is sourced from, but you also will be allowing yourself the opportunity to ask questions of the farmers who handle your food directly.

Being Cold Gives You A Cold

False. Colds seem to be everywhere when the temperature drops, so it’s easy to see why this myth continues to persist. While we get sick for many reasons, none are because we feel cold. Viruses spread more easily when the air is dry, and people are generally confined to close quarters during the winter.

Toilet Seats Are Covered In Germs

Toilet Seats Are Covered

False. Ok, so we wouldn’t recommend eating your lunch on a toilet, but the real bacterial breeding grounds in the bathroom are the flushing handle, soap dispensers, and door handles.
Most bacteria that pose a danger to people quickly wither after making contact with dry bathroom’s surfaces. Just be sure to wash your hands after every use of the restrooms and your healthy immune system will assist in helping fight off the rest!

Sugar Makes Kids Hyper

False. The research, published in the medical journal JAMA, shown that sugar has no impact on a child’s behavior. Children may be having more fun while eating sugar because they see it as a treat, and parents could misread this excitement as hyperactivity but are just excitement over something special. Kids will behave the same way when rewarded with a toy, or a trip to the zoo, and we don’t connect these with hyperactivity.

Talcum Powder Is Linked To Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian Cancer Info

True. After a few larger court cases against Johnson & Johnson for its’ baby powder product, there has been a strong backing on the link between the prolonged use of talcum powder and ovarian cancer.
More research needs to be done, but as this becomes a growing and concerning topic, many people are beginning to educate themselves on the dangers of talcum powder and its uses. The most recent studies have found proven correlations between the ongoing application of the product to the genitals and an increased risk for ovarian cancer.


*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.


With all this being said, these myths are just the tip of the iceberg. There are more that are not included on our list, and many that we have yet to probably even heard of. Yet, we found these to have the greatest impact on our daily routines.
As a consumer, we should always take time to understand our bodies. When we sort out the facts from the fiction, we can then identify the real health risks and make better choices about the food and products we buy. Next time you hear something that makes you tilt your head in suspicion, don’t be afraid to do some research of your own to find out if it’s true and be sure to let us know!



Sam Kramer is a Registered Dietitian, Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist, Six Sigma Green Belt Certified, and Certified Sports Nutritionis

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