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'Man flu' is real, say one in 5 women

ONE in five women believe that the debilitating "man flu" which temporarily leaves sufferers prostrate on the sofa watching sport on TV is real.

A new survey of 2,000 adults about health and wellbeing, showed that misconceptions and old wives' tales, including the myth that eating carrots improves night vision, still prevail.

"Unbelievably, there are still a lot of misconceptions around how minor illnesses and conditions are caused or prevented," said study leader Mike Smith.

The top 10 health myths ranged from the theory that eating carrots will aid night vision to the belief that too much stress will turn your hair grey, both subscribed to by one in 10 of the population.



illusion

More than a third of people said that sugar makes children hyper, and 37pc said they believed we lose most of our body heat through our heads -- the most popular misconception of the survey.

"The Contagion study suggests that a large majority of the population are still under the illusion that they can, for example, get square eyes from watching too much television, or get better night vision from eating more carrots," Smith said.

"These are just not true, but do go to show that no matter how many millions are spent on health and education, some medical myths still prevail."

Almost half of people agreed that men exaggerate symptoms of illness to get attention, with 38pc believing that men take longer to recover from illness than women.

More than half admitted using the internet to research their symptoms.

hnews@herald.ie