FACT CHECK: Is This Graphic Listing The ‘7 Biggest Brain Damaging Habits’ From The WHO?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows a graphic from the World Health Organization (WHO) listing the “7 biggest brain damaging habits.”

Verdict: False

The list does not actually come from the WHO. A spokesperson from the WHO confirmed to Check Your Fact that the graphic is not genuine.

Fact Check:

Social media is replete with misinformation regarding health. One image purports to be from the WHO, listing seven habits that supposedly cause brain damage. The list includes: “Missing breakfast,” “Sleeping late, “High sugar consumption,” “More sleeping specially at morning,” “Eating meal while watching TV or computer,” “Wearing Cap/scarf or socks while sleeping” and “Habit of blocking/Stoping (sic) Urine.”

There is, however, no evidence that the graphic is an actual product of the WHO. The list does not appear on the WHO’s website, which features a wide range of content related to brain health. Nor could it be found in any of the organization’s TwitterInstagram or Facebook posts either.

An internet search by Check Your Fact also found no credible report of the WHO creating the list or promoting it in any context. The graphic has several grammatical issues as well, further adding to the attribution’s dubiousness.

“This is not WHO produced material,” WHO spokesperson Tarik Jašarević told Check Your Fact in an email. (RELATED: Viral Image Claims To Show WHO Lockdown Guidelines).

Check Your Fact didn’t find any evidence directly linking skipping breakfast, eating while watching TV, sleeping while wearing clothes such as hats and socks, or blocking urine with brain damage. Sleeping too little or too much can impact cognitive performance, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that adults get about seven hours of sleep per 24 hours.

Blocking urine can cause urinary tract infections and kidney stones, among other things, according to Medical News Today. Distracted eating can lead to weight gain, per Harvard Health Publishing. Studies have found that excessive sugar consumption can reduce brain volume and negatively impact memory later in life, Forbes reported.

“It is beneficial for your general health to maintain a balanced diet, stay well hydrated, exercise regularly and sleep well,” the WHO Philippines told Rappler.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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