Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Report attacks official guidance on low-fat diets

Monday May 23 2016

"Low-fat diet bad for your health and cutting back on meat, dairy and eggs a disastrous mistake," the Daily Mirror reports. That is the main message of a controversial report attacking official UK guidelines on diet and weight loss…

Women who regularly attend religious services 'live longer'

Tuesday May 17 2016

"Going to church could save your life," reports the Daily Mail, adding that, "Women who worship once a week are '25 per cent less likely to die early'." Perhaps surprisingly, while the first part of the headline is overly simplistic…

Is a pint of beer a day good for the heart?

Thursday May 12 2016

"Pint of beer a day could protect you from heart attacks," The Independent reports. A new review on the alleged protective effects of moderate beer drinking has been warmly welcomed by the UK media – but nobody reported it was funded…

33,000 deaths 'linked to failings in NHS heart attack care'

Tuesday May 10 2016

"Thousands of heart victims killed by poor care," claims the Daily Mail. A review of clinical data from the last 10 years in England and Wales looked at patients with a history of what are known as…

Exercise benefits you - even in polluted city air

Friday May 6 2016

"Why walking is good for you ... even in the smog. Health benefits of a stroll found to outweigh harm caused by chemicals and dust pumped out by traffic," says the Mail Online. The report in question was carried out...

Short bursts of intense exercise 'as good' as endurance training

Thursday Apr 28 2016

"Researchers have found that short bursts of intense exercise produce similar results to traditional longer-duration workouts," the Mail Online reports…

Yoga 'probably good for asthma symptoms and quality of life'

Thursday Apr 28 2016

"Yoga could help asthma sufferers, research finds," reports The Independent. A major review of existing data found there is "moderate-quality evidence" that yoga improves both symptoms and reported quality of life in people with asthma…

Med diet best for heart disease (but some junk food won’t hurt)

Monday Apr 25 2016

"People with heart disease have a lower risk of heart attack and strokes if they eat a Mediterranean-style diet," The Guardian reports. The study it reports on also suggests that the occasional Western-style treat probably doesn't pose much of a risk…

Study argues ditching butter for veg oil won’t prevent heart disease

Wednesday Apr 13 2016

"Ditching butter for veg oil may not be better for heart," the Daily Mail reports. A new analysis of previously unpublished data from the 1960’s and 70s found no benefit in replacing sources of saturated fats with vegetable oils…

Fruit may be good for you, but don’t ditch the statins

Thursday Apr 7 2016

"Daily fresh fruit lowers heart death risk as much as statins," The Daily Telegraph reports. A study of over a half a million Chinese people found that a diet rich in fresh fruit was linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases…

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What is Behind the Headlines?

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