It flies in the face of generations of experiential evidence, but the fact remains: Controlled scientific studies have never been unable to uncover any proof that sugar causes hyperactivity in children [source: Sachs].
Some parents are simply going to reject the findings against what they have seen with their very own eyes. And who can blame them? Just drop by a candy-laden birthday party and watch the truth in action.
Science's response: Birthday parties are exciting, and excitement can make kids hyper. The candy has nothing to do with it [source: Rothman].
Admittedly, in this case the malarkey may be too "surprisingly believable" to dismiss, no matter what science says. And that may not be a bad thing. The fear of hyperactivity can encourage parents to limit kids' sugar intake, an excess of which is detrimental to their (and everyone else's) health.
So, who knows. Maybe a little malarkey is all right.
For more information on these and other bits of malarkey, check out the links below.
Author's Note: 10 Surprisingly Believable Bits of Malarkey
In this article's first draft, entry 5 was not flu-related. Originally, that entry read "Tanning Beds are Safer than Sunlight," a topic I wanted to address due to the shocking amount of damage resulting from that particular misconception (fueled, of course, by the tanning industry).
But I changed it to a brief mention in the introduction for consistency's sake, since (in my opinion) that malarkey is not "surprisingly believable" at all. But it seems a wasted opportunity to leave it at that, so how about a few stats for good measure?
People who use tanning beds regularly are 50 to 100 percent more likely to develop skin cancer than those who don't [source: Robb-Nicholson]. This includes melanoma, one of the deadliest cancers out there. Those who have ever used a tanning bed are up to 15 percent more likely to develop melanoma, and that goes up to 75 percent when the first use is before the age of 35 [source: Skin Cancer Foundation].
Young women are doing the majority of the indoor tanning, so they're most at risk. If you know any tan-happy teens-to-20-somethings, you may want to pass along the statistics, especially this one: Roughly 10 to 20 percent of melanoma patients are dead within five years [source: Skin Cancer Foundation].
There. I've said it. Thanks for listening.
- "19 Best Products for Oily Skin." Total Beauty. (Oct. 30, 2012) http://www.totalbeauty.com/content/gallery/p_best_oil_control
- Dobson, Roger. "Sausage dogs are the most aggressive dogs." The Telegraph UK. July 5, 2008. (Oct. 30, 2012) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/2254479/Sausage-dogs-are-the-most-aggressive-dogs.html
- Epstein, Edward J. "Have You Ever Tried to Sell a Diamond?" The Atlantic. Feb. 1982. (Oct. 30, 2012) http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1982/02/have-you-ever-tried-to-sell-a-diamond/304575/
- Freudenrich, Craig. "How Alcohol Works." HowStuffWorks. (Nov. 5, 2012) https://science.howstuffworks.com/alcohol.htm
- Griggs, Jessica. "Diamond no longer nature's hardest material." New Scientist. Feb. 16, 2009. (Nov. 5, 2012) http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16610-diamond-no-longer-natures-hardest-material.html
- Guthrie, Julian. "Despite reputation, trained pit bulls can be wonderful pets, experts say." SFGate/The San Francisco Chronicle. June 4, 2005. (Oct. 30, 2012) http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Despite-reputation-trained-pit-bulls-can-be-2665626.php
- "Influenza vaccine." Medline Plus. (Nov. 8, 2012) http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002025.htm
- Kunin, Audrey. "The Ugly – and Deadly – Side of Tanning." Dr. Oz. (Oct. 30, 2012) http://www.doctoroz.com/blog/audrey-kunin-md/ugly-and-deadly-side-tanning
- Lamont-Djite, Tara. "Oily Skin Myths Solved!" Beautylish. June 21, 2012. (Oct. 30, 2012) http://www.beautylish.com/a/vcjir/oily-skin-myths-solved
- Layton, Julia. "How Bottled Water Works." HowStuffWorks. (Oct. 30, 2012) https://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/green-science/bottled-water.htm
- "Myth: Can Drinking Coffee Help a Person Sober Up?" Discovery. (Nov. 4, 2012) http://dsc.discovery.com/fansites/mythbusters/db/food/drinking-coffee-when-drunk-makes-sober.html
- Neighmond, Patti. "Think You're An Auditory or Visual Learner? Scientists Say It's Unlikely." NPR. Oct. 29, 2011. (Oct. 31, 2012) http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/08/29/139973743/think-youre-an-auditory-or-visual-learner-scientists-say-its-unlikely
- Oz, Mehmet. "'Safe' Tanning Beds? Think Again." Dr. Oz. (Oct. 30, 2012) http://www.doctoroz.com/blog/mehmet-oz-md/safe-tanning-beds-think-again
- Paturel, Amy. "6 High-Fat Foods That Are Good For You." SELF. Aug. 10, 2011. (Nov. 4, 2012) http://www.self.com/health/blogs/healthyself/2011/08/6-high-fat-foods-that-are-good.html
- "Reducing Fat Intake." Cleveland Clinic. (Nov. 8, 2012) http://my.clevelandclinic.org/healthy_living/weight_control/hic_reducing_fat_intake.aspx
- Ricciotti, Hope. "Heart Disease – Differences Between Men and Women." Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. (Nov. 4, 2012) http://www.bidmc.org/CentersandDepartments/Departments/Medicine/Divisions/CardiovascularMedicine/YourHeartHealth/TipsforHeartHealth/HeartDiseaseDifferencesBetweenMenandWomen.aspx
- Riener, Cedar and Daniel Willingham. "The Myth of Learning Styles." Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning. Sept/Oct 2010. (Oct. 31, 2012) http://www.changemag.org/Archives/Back%20Issues/September-October%202010/the-myth-of-learning-full.html
- Robb-Nicholson, Celeste. "By the way, doctor: Is a tanning bed safer than sunlight?" Harvard Women's Health Watch. Harvard Health Publications. Sept. 2009. (Oct. 30, 2012) http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Womens_Health_Watch/2009/September/is-a-tanning-bed-safer-than-sunlight
- Rothman, Josh. "Surprise: Sugar Doesn't Make Kids Hyper." Boston.com/The Boston Globe. Nov. 2, 2011. (Oct. 30, 2012) http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/brainiac/2011/11/surprise_sugar.html
- Sachs, Jessica Snyder. "Sugar: Does It Really Make Kids Hyper?" Parenting. (Oct. 30, 2012) http://www.parenting.com/article/sugar-does-it-make-kids-hyper
- Webb, Merryn Somerset. "Diamonds: don't buy into the illusion." Money Week. March 1, 2010. (Oct. 30, 2012) http://www.moneyweek.com/blog/diamonds-dont-buy-into-the-illusion-00133
- "Worried about the flu shot? Here are myths, debunked." TODAY Health. Nov. 7, 2012. (Nov. 8, 2012) http://todayhealth.today.com/_news/2012/11/07/14977455-worried-about-the-flu-shot-here-are-myths-debunked?lite
Many people believe that the number 23 has magical properties. HowStuffWorks looks at the number.