Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Researchers investigate why obesity can trigger bowel cancer

Tuesday Jan 19 2016

"Excess calories 'turn off a hormone in the intestine that blocks colon cancer'," the Mail Online reports. Obesity is a known risk factor for bowel cancer (colorectal cancer). There is evidence that a diet rich in processed meats…

A potato-rich diet before pregnancy could up diabetes risk

Wednesday Jan 13 2016

"Eating potatoes before pregnancy increases risk of diabetes," The Daily Telegraph reports. Researchers found a small, but significant, increase in gestational diabetes risk in mothers who ate a potato-rich diet before their pregnancy…

Sugary drinks linked to increased fat levels around vital organs

Tuesday Jan 12 2016

"People who consume sugary drinks are more likely to develop dangerous fat that becomes wrapped around internal organs," the Daily Mail reports after a US study found a link between the consumption of sugary drinks and increased visceral fat levels…

New alcohol advice issued

Friday Jan 8 2016

New proposed guidelines on alcohol, drawn up by the Chief Medical Officers of the UK, have been published today. The expert group that produced the guidelines looked at the body of new evidence about the potential harms of alcohol…

Dry January 'can lead to healthier drinking patterns long-term'

Monday Jan 4 2016

"Study … found that Dry January leads to healthier drinking habits," the Mail Online reports. Dry January involves giving up alcohol for the month. There is limited evidence about whether taking part in the challenge...

Vitamin D deficiency linked to irritable bowel syndrome

Wednesday Dec 23 2015

"Is vitamin D the key to treating IBS? 82% of sufferers 'are deficient'," the Mail Online reports. However, the small study that noticed the trend did not find that giving vitamin D supplements to people with IBS helped with symptoms…

The idea you can be fat but fit is 'a myth' study argues

Monday Dec 21 2015

"No, you can't be fat and fit, say the experts," the Daily Mail reports. A major study involving more than a million men seems to contradict the idea that "obese individuals can fully compensate mortality risk by being physically fit"…

Failure to fortify flour with folic acid 'led to 2,000 birth defects'

Friday Dec 18 2015

"UK experts are backing the call for flour to be fortified with folic acid – a move which they say would have prevented about 2,000 cases of serious birth defects since 1998," BBC News reports…

Can overweight men pass obesity risk to their children?

Friday Dec 4 2015

"Are you fat because of your dad?" is the Mail Online's bold question to its readers, explaining that "Men's weight directly affects genes in sperm linked to appetite and brain development"...

Do potatoes reduce stomach cancer risk?

Tuesday Dec 1 2015

"Eating lots of potatoes will reduce your risk of getting stomach cancer," according to enthusiastic media reports that seized on the UK's love affair with the spud...

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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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