Starve a cold, feed a fever... what does that mean?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Dave Poehlman, Apr 17, 2003.

  1. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    After my recent bout with the flu (hey, I lost 5 lbs!), I thought about this common phrase and realized... I have no idea what it means.

    Am I not supposed to eat when I have a cold? Or are they speaking metaphorically and saying I should stay warm when I'm sick? Thus "starving" the "cold" and "feeding" the "fever"?.. I don't get it.

    Can anyone tell me what I'm supposed to do?


    WORD OF ADVICE: Never eat Thai food if you're planning on getting the flu.... yeowch!
     
  2. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    Many people think that it’s a form of advice, meaning that if you have a cold, you should cut down on your food consumption (starve a cold), but that if you have a fever (something worse than a cold), that you should increase your food consumption (feed a fever).

    But that’s not right. It’s actually an admonition, warning that if you cut back on your food consumption while you have a cold (starve a cold), you’ll end up making it worse (a fever) and have to deal with a worse malady down the road (feed a fever).

    What to do: Drink lots of fluids.
     
  3. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    good to know brian [​IMG]
    I never knew
     
  4. Jason Bovberg

    Jason Bovberg Stunt Coordinator

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    The way I understood it is that you're supposed to starve a cold OF COLD TEMPERATURES (i.e., stay out of the cold) and feed a fever WARM TEMPERATURES (i.e., bundle up).
     
  5. Ron Etaylor

    Ron Etaylor Second Unit

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    I say if you blow chunks, stick with water/sprite/and a coupla saltines. If your head is all plugged up, have some spicy Mexican or Cajun food, or put tobasco on anything. You'll be breathing easily soon.
     
  6. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    The problem is that this silly phrase is worded in such a way that it can be taken either as advice OR as an admonition.

    There are many others that share the same syntax/structure, but their meaning is more obvious.

    Advice: Lefty loosey, righty tighty - Something you should always do (or at least try first).

    Admonition: A minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips. - If you eat it, you're gonna get fat. (In other words, a "minute on the lips" is not advised.)

    I can't think of any others, but I'm sure there are more that are just as confusing as "feed a cold, starve a fever."
     
  7. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    "Feed a bear, lose a hand".

    Thanks for clearing it all up, Bri. Thankfully, I'm over my bug and I plan on hitting my local margarita establishment tomorrow night.

    Anyone ever hear that when your sick, you're body will crave what's best for it? Someone told me that once. I was craving salty snacks the other day while I was sick. Probably to help retain fluids.

    I was really jonesin' for some Totino's pizza rolls.
     
  8. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

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    Yeah, Totino's greasy salty pizza rolls. Yum. Quality snackies.
     
  9. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

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    Since most people I know (including me) are about 99% full of BS and any idiot back in time could have made this up, just ignore it. You can trust a catch phrase, but I would rather take the unsnappy yet thouroughly researched and documented plan of the modern doctor:

    * Rest yourself
    * Stay bundled up / warm
    * Drink lots of fluids
    * Take mild medications as needed
    * See a doctor if it gets extreme

    Works for almost any flu/cold [​IMG]
     

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