Many myths surround the holiday season, including the oft-heard "statistic" that Americans typically gain 5 pounds.
But the only comprehensive scientific study, reported a few years ago in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that most of us gain less than 1 pound from Thanksgiving through New Years.
There are some footnotes to the study. People who already are obese tend to gain more weight during the holidays than those who have been practicing weight control. And most of us don't shed the holiday weight we do gain. There also is a concern among some nutritionists about the amount of refined sugar and saturated fat that sneaks into the holiday diet.
Other holiday myths -- think flying reindeer -- may be harder to disprove. But the weight gain myth has been dispelled by scientific research.