Published: 6 March 2014

Health and wellbeing: Truths and myths

Fruit in glass

Dr Eric Robinson from the Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, researches cognitive and social influences on health-related behaviours such as eating and drinking:

“The lifestyle choices we make can have big repercussions on how we feel on a day to day basis, as well as on our longer term health. With coursework assignments looming and end of semester exams to prepare for, knowing what things we can do to look after ourselves is important.

“Making sure you exercise or are active on a daily basis, keep regular sleep patterns and avoid drinking alcohol on more days in the week than not are good places to start. But at the same time, there are lots of health myths with little scientific evidence supporting them too:

Myth 1:  A glass of wine a night…

“Dependent on what you have heard, you might be led to believe that alcohol is good for you because it is full of antioxidants and life-saving compounds. If you are thinking about working in a nightly beer or glass of wine for good health, then think again. Although newspaper headlines and articles can be persuasive, most experts advise against this and so does UK alcohol charity Drink Aware.

Myth 2: Energy drinks can get me through an all-nighter

“Although energy drinks can give you a temporary energy boost, this will only be a short-lived energy kick and it will not combat fatigue. The high caffeine levels can also make you agitated and raise blood pressure. Plus, there is recent research that suggests these kind of drinks may have a negative long term effect on heart functioning.  If you are low on energy then try a banana.

Myth 3:  Detox time

Thinking of going on a fashionable detox diet to cut out specific food groups and cleanse your inner self? There is next to no evidence that detox diets are beneficial and the British Dietetic Association take this stance too. These kinds of diets can also be detrimental if important nutrients go missing from your diet as a result. “

The Institute of Psychology, Health and Society is currently running a campus-wide study to track student lifestyle choices, as well as eating and drinking habits. Researchers are currently looking for student participants to take part in the online study which takes around 10 minutes to complete. For further information and to take part, please visit: www.Tinyurl.com/liverpoolcohortstudy

As a thank you for taking part student participants will be entered into a £300 prize draw.

3.50 avg. rating (72% score) - 4 votes

3 thoughts on “Health and wellbeing: Truths and myths

  1. Ryan

    The article states that UK alcohol charity also advise against “A glass of wine a night” but what evidence is this based on?

    1. Joanna (Administrator) on behalf of Dr Eric Robinson Post author

      Hi Ryan. The general consensus is that, on a population level, alcohol consumption does more harm than good (although moderate consumption may have some small cardiovascular benefits, this isn’t certain at all and alcohol has lots of other negative side effects), so the general guideline is that people shouldn’t be encouraged to increase their consumption.

      Telling people to increase their daily fruit and vegetable consumption (“an apple a day…”) is a good idea, but doing the same for alcohol (“a glass of wine a day…”) isn’t advised. If you want to read more, check out this article: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(05)17870-2/abstract

      Eric

  2. Bridget

    Hmm, a bit of a boring way to live though isn’t it, no alcohol with tea (like the French, who are thin and live longer – don’t tell me they don’t, I’ve lived there!) and no energy drinks during revision, I highly doubt a banana will have the psychological impact of an energy drink either.

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