The culture that exists today is full of confusing information on myriad subjects. The latest, greatest info I received from one of the many Internet health sites that I subscribe to found that people over 50 who exercise and have attained a degree of financial success are apt to drink more. Just last month I read an extensive article that stated sitting for long periods of time shortens our lifespan. However, other studies have found that hemorrhoids can emerge if you stand too long and lie down for any length of time, and sleeping can give you back problems.

What happens if you have a good income, stand often and sit periodically? Do you still drink a lot?

Did you know that if you clean the grill with a wire brush, tiny strands of wire could find their way into your burgers? However, the damage could already have happened from either cooking your burgers too little or too much. Either way you could get sick. Too much enhances the possibility of getting cancer, too little and you could get a stomach bug.

You would imagine that dishwashers produce germ-free plates and silverware. Not necessarily: Another study found that handwashing creates less bacteria.

Your bed linens could be an incredible source of problems, especially if you don’t buy a new pillow every six months or have special covers for the mattress that inhibit mite infestation. You could wake up covered in bites.

Does some of the above have some viability? Oh, I’m sure it does. What I really find absurd is that many research projects are diametrically opposed to one another. As soon as one comes out and is touted as the “latest finding,” another surfaces that cancels it out.

Some of the studies have outcomes that were embraced for years only to end up with dire results. The famous 16-year study on estrogen supplementation to hinder bone loss in women, help hot flashes and suppress dementia ended up on the cutting-room floor. They ultimately found that it aggravated memory loss and increased cancers. They have finally found a mid-point and have come up with a common sense approach.

What we really need is a long-term study on common sense and how its positive benefits affect our body and mind. We should be teaching it as part of the school curriculum and make it a huge component of parenting. By and large commonsense is losing ground. We listen to a lot of rhetoric from so called experts without tapping into our own inner expert. The next time some announcement is made about something that will make you live longer, look younger or be happier ask yourself this question: “Does this make sense, or is it nonsense?”

Author, humorist, PBS star and Fortune 500 trainer Loretta LaRoche lives in Plymouth, Massachusetts. To share your pet peeves, questions or comments, write to The Humor Potential, 50 Court St., Plymouth, MA 02360. Visit her website at stressed.com.