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Table 6 Examples of messages with different levels of evidence

From: Are the health messages in schoolbooks based on scientific evidence? A descriptive study

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE MESSAGE
HIGH    • Children should use toothpaste with fluoride
     • The Mediterranean diet helps to prevent excess cholesterol
     • Adopting habits such as not smoking prevents certain types of cancer
MEDIUM    • Sugar-free chewing gum helps to prevent tooth decay
     • After cleaning, cover a wound with a plaster or bandage
     • Pregnant women should visit the doctor once a month
LOW    • Moderate exercise strengthens the heart muscles and prevents illnesses affecting the circulatory system
     • Alcohol consumption leads to malnutrition and complaints affecting the alimentary canal
     • In Summer, apply sun cream to babies several times a day and after bathing
UNKNOWN    • Drinking two litres of water per day helps us to remain healthy
     • Children should always be assisted by an adult when cooking in order to avoid accidents in the home
     • Fruit should be thoroughly washed or pealed prior to consumption
NO EVIDENCE FOUND    • Do not swim after a meal. The digestive process may be affected, giving rise to a stomach cramp.
     • Breathing through the nose rather than the mouth prevents colds
     • An adequate intake of vitamin B lowers the probabilities of illness
EVIDENCE CONTRAVENED    • Wounds should be disinfected with peroxide
     • A period of inactivity should always be observed in the event of muscular injury
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