3 Holiday Mistakes that Could Land You In the Hospital
The holidays can be hazardous to your health—for reasons that might surprise you.
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Overly Hot Toddying
There’s nothing like a cup of something warm to cheer you on a cold winter’s night. But be careful: A July 2016 report in The Lancet Oncology found that consuming extremely hot drinks may lead to esophageal cancer. Researchers suspect that hot liquids can irritate the esophagus, which can in turn trigger an increase in cell division. “With an increase in cell turnover, there’s a possibility of a mutation that can lead to cancer,” says Leslie Stayner, PhD, an epidemiologist at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, who chaired the working group of scientists who reviewed the hot-drinks research. The too-hot zone is above 149 degrees. For context, consider that the boiling point of water is 212 degrees, and some single-serving coffeemakers can produce brews in the range of 180 to 185 degrees. “If a drink is hot enough to burn your mouth, it’s advisable to avoid it,” says Stayner. This doesn’t mean your hot beverage will kill you, but let coffee, tea, and cocoa sit for a few extra minutes before you sip, no matter how frightful the weather outside.