Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Study finds plain cigarette pack fears 'unfounded'

Friday Aug 29 2014

Plain packs don't lead to 'unintended consequences'

"Cigarette plain packaging fear campaign unfounded," reports The Guardian. After Australia introduced plain packaging laws in 2012, opponents of the legislation argued it would lead to a number of unintended consequences…

Are good neighbours really life-savers?

Tuesday Aug 19 2014

Are good neighbours really life-savers?

'Having good neighbours can help cut heart attack risk, study shows' The Independent reports. A US study has found an association between high levels of 'social cohesion' and reduced heart attack risk…

High-salt diet linked to 1.6 million heart deaths

Thursday Aug 14 2014

Too much salt in the diet is believed to cause cardiovascular disease

"Salty diet 'causes 1.6 million deaths worldwide each year'," reports The Daily Telegraph. It goes on to quote a researcher saying this is "nearly 1 in 10 of all deaths from cardiovascular causes worldwide". This scary-sounding headline...

'Safe' stem cell therapy may help stroke recovery

Monday Aug 11 2014

Stem cells: providing hope in many therapeutic areas

BBC Online today reports that "Stem cells show promise in stroke recovery". This accurate headline comes from a study showing how a new technique using a patient's own stem cells...

Salt content in cheese 'too high', say campaigners

Thursday Aug 7 2014

'Salt cuts have saved lives,' says study

"Halloumi and blue cheese saltier than seawater,” reports The Daily Telegraph, following the publication of research on the salt content of cheeses sold in the UK. Researchers looked at 612 supermarket cheeses...

Study probes effect of NHS Health Checks

Friday Aug 1 2014

NHS Health Checks 'waste of time' study argues

"Health MOTs routinely offered to over-40s on the NHS may be a waste of time," the Mail Online reports. The report says researchers have found no difference in the prevalence of diseases such as diabetes in GP practices that offer NHS Health Checks…

Running 7 minutes a day 'halves heart death risk'

Tuesday Jul 29 2014

Running 7 minutes a day 'halves heart death risk'

"Running for just a few minutes each day can reduce the risk of dying from heart disease," The Guardian reports. Ultimately, you can't outrun the Grim Reaper. But this news accurately reflects the results of a large long-term US study on health outcomes…

Probiotics 'may improve blood pressure'

Tuesday Jul 22 2014

Probiotics may help improve blood pressure

“Eating probiotics may lower blood pressure,” The Daily Telegraph reports. Probiotics, so-called “friendly bacteria”, have been found to moderately reduce blood pressure in a new study…

'More adults should be taking statins,' says NICE

Friday Jul 18 2014

'More adults should be taking statins' says NICE

NICE suggests thousands of lives a year could be saved if more adults were offered these cholesterol lowering drugs

Steroid asthma inhalers restrict children’s growth

Thursday Jul 17 2014

Asthma inhalers restrict children’s growth

"Children who use inhalable steroids for asthma grow slower than their peers in the first year of taking the medication," The Guardian reports. The effect found by researchers was small, on average a reduction of half a centimetre per year…

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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