Well Being

Well Being

 Q Last week on the way to the cinema I got caught in the rain and, thanks to leaky boots, my feet got wet. Two days later I was struck down with a cold. Are the two directly related?

 A They aren't supposed to be, but cold experts have argued the point for years. Their current position is this: being in cold weather doesn't put you at any more risk of catching a cold than being warm. Lowering your core body temperature, however, may lessen your immune response to a viral invasion, so having wet, cold feet may have made you a little more susceptible to infection. My Scandinavian friends say there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing, but there is an ongoing argument about that, too. What isn't arguable is that sitting in a cinema with cold sufferers around you will put you at high risk of catching a virus, regardless of your body temperature. All it needs is one sneeze nearby and you have your next cold.

QHow strict should I be about my three-year-old's salt intake? I try to keep it down to a sprinkling to flavour cooking, but he always wants extra on his food. What is an acceptable daily intake, and what harm can it cause if it's exceeded?

AThe salt in your cooking should be enough for him. It's hard to relate grams of salt per day to the amount actually swallowed in food. If you wish to avoid giving him too much, offer other spicy tastes instead. If he insists, then one shake of the salt cellar is probably enough, provided the holes aren't too large. For a normal healthy child, a little extra salt won't do any harm. Overloading with a lot of salt could lead to fluid retention and high blood pressure, but unlikely with a normal diet. 

Your Questions
Every week, Living will feature an interactive column, ‘Well-being’, where your questions on health,fitness, diet and nutrition will be answered by experts. Send your questions to
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