Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Modified bacteria may be useful in treating diabetes

Wednesday Feb 4 2015

“Breakthrough pill can cure diabetes,” is the completely misleading report in the Daily Express. While researchers have achieved some level of success in using bacteria to improve diabetes control in rats, this in no way amounts to a cure for humans…

Brown fat may protect against diabetes and obesity

Monday Jan 26 2015

“Fat can protect you against obesity and diabetes," the Mail Online reports. However, the small study it reports on was looking at brown fat, which is only found in small amounts in adults…

'Social jet lag' linked to obesity and 'unhealthy' metabolism

Wednesday Jan 21 2015

"Social jet lag is driving obesity" is the misleading headline in The Daily Telegraph. A new study only found a link between "social jet leg", obesity and metabolic markers that may indicate a person has an increased risk of obesity-related diseases…

Obesity could 'rob you' of 20 years of health

Friday Dec 5 2014

"Obesity knocks 20 years of good health off your life and can accelerate death by eight years," the Mail Online reports. A study has estimated very obese men aged 20 to 39, with a body mass index (BMI) of 35…

Nitrate-rich leafy greens 'good for the heart'

Thursday Dec 4 2014

“Leafy vegetables contain chemical nitrate that improves heart health,” the Mail Online reports. In a recent study, researchers looked at the effects of a nitrate-rich diet on rats…

Can a yoghurt a day reduce diabetes risk?

Tuesday Nov 25 2014

"Eating a small portion of yoghurt every day may reduce diabetes risk," The Independent reports. This news comes from a US study that assessed the eating habits of more than 100,000 people and then followed them up every four years, looking...

Vegetarian diet 'could have slight benefits in diabetes'

Monday Nov 24 2014

"Vegetable diet will beat diabetes: Meat-free lifestyle cures killer disease," is the typically overblown headline in the Daily Express. But researchers actually found a vegetarian diet led to a quite modest fall in only one measure of blood glucose…

Weight loss surgery cuts diabetes risk in very obese

Monday Nov 3 2014

'Weight loss surgery can dramatically reduce the odds of developing type 2 diabetes' BBC News report. A UK study found that having bariatric surgery reduced the risk of diabetes by around 80% in morbidly obese people...

Sunshine isn't slimming and can't halt diabetes

Friday Oct 24 2014

"Sunshine can make you thin," claims the Daily Mirror, while the Daily Express splashed on its front page that, "Sunlight is key to fighting diabetes". Both are strong contenders for the title of the day's most inaccurate health headline...

'Shift workers should avoid steak' claim mistaken

Thursday Oct 23 2014

"Shift workers should avoid tucking into steak, brown rice or green veg at night," because these foods "disrupt the body clock," the Mail Online reports. But the research in question involved lab mice…

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What is Behind the Headlines?

We give you the facts without the fiction. Professor Sir Muir Gray, founder of Behind the Headlines, explains more...

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