Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Seven Years to Pass

                     The other Night my four year old sister was chomping away on gum when she accidentally swallowed it. right then and there her older sister who is seven exclaimed "oh no! It's going to stay in your tummy for seven years!" she then had a look of mortification until I told her that the gum will not stay in your stomach for seven years and will come out right on schedule, which seemed to ease her distress. It’s hard to find anyone who hasn’t heard of the suspicious claim about gum staying in your stomach for seven years, usually told when you were a child, but where dose this tall tale come from? My guess is years of parents shaking their fingers at their children trying to teach them not to eat non-food items. Then friends tell friends on the playground and then it spreads like wildfire! But why does the tale of chewing gum staying in our stomachs for seven years stick with us throughout our childhood and into our adulthoods where we then give misleading information to our children? I believe this has to do with the little bit of scare factor, just the thought of something gooey and sticky consuming your stomach for seven years! Is just enough fear for any kid to want to keep that gum up and to remember that rule for the rest of their lives! Then growing up realizing that this bogus tale actually prevented them from swallowing gum and pass the lie down to their children. This could be the reason for so many gum wads stuck to desks, tables, chairs, and most annoying the bottom of my shoe!!!!!

Here's a link to the Mayo clinic on gum: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/digestive-system/an00896

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