There is no escaping the fact: We’ve all been lied to at some time or another in our lives. However, more interestingly enough, there are also those common lies that we have all been told—lies that society seems to simply accept as facts, even though they have been disproven time and again. Below is a glimpse at a few of the most common of these lies.
1. The Food Pyramid Should be Obeyed by All
Most elementary school children will still point to this pyramid as the Pyramid of Truth, even though the content should be far less solidly laid out than the bricks that construct the pyramids of Egypt. In fact, with its high emphasis on the needs for grains and other carbohydrates, many consumers are misled to believe that consuming these food sources is more important than eating several servings of fruit and vegetables per day. On the contrary, the daily recommended servings for vegetables should place these nutritious foods closer to the base of the pyramid. Additionally, the lack of distinction between various types of carbohydrates is also misleading, as it seems to indicate that all carbohydrates should be treated as equals, regardless of their nutritional benefits. Finally, different life styles will require different concentrations of different food groups—a fact that is not taken into account by the basic Food Pyramid.
2. Nice Guys Get the Girls
The movies all seem to show that in the end, the girl will choose the nice guy. However, a quick glance through society’s patterns easily reveals that this isn’t quite true. Woman often get married for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with the “niceness” of a guy. Money, fame, and even green cards can often be reasons for marriage, and the high divorce rates indicate that these attributes are often not attached to general “niceness” at all.
3. The Appendix Has No Purpose
Despite being disproven, many new editions of science textbooks still list the appendix as an example of a vestigial organ, an organ that no longer has any purpose in a body. However, it’s been over 10 years since at least one purpose of the appendix was established, and scientists fully believe that further investigation will probably lead to finding other purposes of this organ as well. Currently, the appendix is known to play a crucial role in fetal development, and the appendix also provides benefits throughout the development of humans during the “young adult” stage.
4. Personal Debt Must Be a Fact of Life
Taking out loans for everything from homes, to cars, to educational expenses is a commonly accepted practice, and the importance of getting in debt just to work up a good credit score is also encouraged. However, there is actually an alternative to staying in debt until the point of retirement: Individuals can actually work to save money (and lead a more frugal lifestyle) and avoid debt altogether in many instances. Although this option will probably mean foregoing the purchase of a new vehicle, choosing to be debt free is definitely possible.
5. Candy Will Rot Your Teeth
Repeated by dentists, teachers, and concerned parents alike, the statement that “Candy will rot your teeth” is really more of an exaggeration than the simple truth. While sugary substances will certainly cause the enamel of your teeth to be broken down far quicker than ideal, this problem can also be counterbalanced by brushing your teeth immediately after consuming any sugary substance. Overall, although candy can contribute to poor teeth health, eating candy occasionally and adhering to good dental hygiene practices should easily combat this problem.
Frank Benson is a behavioral psychologist and guest author at BestPsychologyDegrees.org, a site with information and rankings of the top psychology degree programs.