Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Over two hours screen time a day may raise a child’s blood pressure

Thursday Feb 26 2015

Over two hours screen time a day ups a child’s blood pressure

"Watching TV for more than two hours a day increases the risk of raised blood pressure in children," The Daily Telegraph reports. A large study, involving more than 5,000 children who were followed up over two years…

Anger possibly linked with non-fatal heart attacks

Tuesday Feb 24 2015

There are lots of benefits to trying to remain calm

"'Plate-throwing rage' raises heart attack risk nearly 10 fold," The Daily Telegraph reports, slightly inaccurately. This headline reports on a study that found that just seven out of 313 people had felt "very angry"...

Nanoparticles used to treat damaged arteries

Thursday Feb 19 2015

'Nano drones' used to repair damaged arteries

"New trials suggest microscopic stealth drones could be used to seek and repair damaged arteries," The Daily Telegraph, somewhat overexcitedly, reports. A study in mice has found promising results for a targeted treatment…

Plain packaging 'may help smokers to cut down'

Tuesday Feb 17 2015

Plain packaging 'may help smokers smoke less'

"Plain packaging reduced unconscious triggers to smoke," BBC News reports. This claim is based on two related experiments where smokers were either exposed to a picture of a branded pack of cigarettes, a picture of a plain pack...

1980s fat guidelines 'lacked evidence,' study argues

Tuesday Feb 10 2015

1980s fat guidelines 'lacked evidence,' study argues

"Butter isn't bad for you after all: Major study says 80s advice on dairy fats was flawed," is the headline on the front of the Daily Mail as a new study argues dietary fat guidelines introduced in the 1980s lacked a rigorous evidence base…

Flu jab is not a 'waste of time'

Friday Feb 6 2015

Flu jab is not a 'waste of time'

“Flu jab given to millions is 'useless',” and "Flu jab is a waste of time," are the irresponsible headlines in The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail…

E-cigarettes may make lungs vulnerable to infection

Thursday Feb 5 2015

E-cigarettes may make lungs vulnerable to infection

"Vaping may not be as safe as smokers think, research suggests," The Guardian reports. New research found that mice exposed to e-cig vapours comparable to a typical human level experienced mild lung damage and a reduced immune response to infection…

Flu and freezing weather may be driving up winter death rates

Wednesday Feb 4 2015

Flu and freezing weather have impacted death rates

"The current death rate in England and Wales is running about one-third higher than its normal rate for this time of year," BBC News reports. A combination of flu and very cold weather may be responsible…

Strenuous jogging 'as bad as doing no exercise' claim

Tuesday Feb 3 2015

Strenuous jogging 'as bad as doing no exercise' claim

“Too much jogging 'as bad as no exercise at all',” BBC News reports. However, the results of the new Danish study on which this headline is based, are not as clear cut as the media has made out…

Is asthma being overdiagnosed?

Monday Feb 2 2015

Is asthma being over diagnosed?

A potentially alarming figure that emerged in the UK news last week was that "1 million" UK adults may have been wrongly diagnosed with asthma...

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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