Scientists debunk myths including one on the importance of wearing a hat in the cold:
survival manual from 1970 which strongly recommended covering the head
when it is cold, since “40 to 45 percent of body heat” is lost from the
Rachel Vreeman and Aaron Carroll, at the centre forhealth policy at Indiana University in Indianapolis, rubbish the claim in theBritish Medical Journal
this week. If this were true, they say, humans would be just as cold if
they went without a hat as if they went without trousers. “Patently,
this is just not the case,” they write.
have arisen through a flawed interpretation of a vaguely scientific
experiment by the US military in the 1950s. In those studies,
volunteers were dressed in Arctic survival suits and exposed to
bitterly cold conditions. Because it was the only part of their bodies
left uncovered, most of their heat was lost through their heads.