Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Eating with a fat friend 'makes you eat more'

Monday Oct 6 2014

Eating with a fat friend 'makes you eat more' claim

"Sitting next to overweight people makes you more likely to gorge on unhealthy food," the Daily Express reports. A study involving an actress in a fat suit found that people tended to eat more when she was wearing the suit…

Moderate regular drinking may 'damage sperm'

Friday Oct 3 2014

Even moderate regular drinking damages sperm

“Just five alcoholic drinks a week could reduce sperm quality,” The Guardian reports. A study involving Danish military recruits found that even moderate drinking, if done regularly, was associated with a drop in quality…

Deep-fried Mars bars: no link with sudden stroke

Tuesday Sep 30 2014

Deep-fried Mars bars will probably not give you a stroke

“Eating a deep-fried Mars bar could give you a stroke in minutes,” reports Metro. However, the study that prompted this headline found no evidence that the Scottish snack can potentially trigger a fatal stroke within minutes...

Cherry juice touted as treatment for gout

Monday Sep 29 2014

Cherry juice touted as treatment for gout

“Daily drinks of cherry juice concentrate could help thousands of patients beat gout,” the Mail on Sunday reports. This headline is based on a small study that found drinking tart cherry juice twice a day temporarily lowered the blood uric acid levels…

Could curry spice boost brain cell repair?

Friday Sep 26 2014

Curried spice could be booster for brain cell repair

“Spicy diet can beat dementia,” is the unsupported claim in the Daily Express. Researchers did find that the spice turmeric stimulated the growth of neural stem cells in rats…

Watch less TV to prevent obesity, says NICE

Tuesday Sep 23 2014

Watch less TV to prevent obesity, says NICE

“Take TV-free days to combat obesity, health experts urge,” The Guardian reports. This is one of a range of new recommendations from the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE)…

Dry-roasted peanuts may be worst for nut allergies

Monday Sep 22 2014

Dry roasted peanuts worst for nut allergies

“Dry-roasted peanuts 'worst for allergies',” the Mail Online reports. New research involving mice suggests that the roasting process increases the 'allergic power' of peanuts. Researchers exposed mice to small amounts of proteins derived from either…

Do artificial sweeteners raise diabetes risk?

Thursday Sep 18 2014

Artificial sweeteners may actually raise diabetes risk

"Artificial sweeteners may promote diabetes, claim scientists," reports The Guardian. But before you go clearing your fridge of diet colas, the research in question – extensive as it was – was mainly in mice…

Sugar intake guideline 'needs lowering'

Tuesday Sep 16 2014

Sugar intake guideline 'needs lowering'

"Sugar intake must be slashed further, say scientists," BBC News reports. A new study suggests that lowering the recommended limit to less than 3% would improve public dental health…

Weight discrimination study fuels debate

Friday Sep 12 2014

Research suggests "shaming" people about weight problems may be counterproductive

Much of the media has reported that discriminatory "fat shaming" makes people who are overweight eat more, rather than less. The Daily Mail describes how...

What is Behind the Headlines?

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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