Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Does losing your sense of smell predict death risk?

Thursday Oct 2 2014

Simple smell test 'could predict five-year death risk'

"Sense of smell 'may predict lifespan'," BBC News reports. New research suggests people unable to smell distinctive scents, such as peppermint or fish, may have an increased risk of death within five years…

Minimum alcohol pricing would 'save 100s of lives'

Wednesday Oct 1 2014

Minimal alcohol pricing would 'save 100s of lives'

“‘Hundreds of lives lost' over failure to bring in minimum alcohol pricing,” The Independent reports. The news is based on research that modelled the effect of a minimum alcohol price per unit of around 40 to 50 pence…

Media multitasking 'brain shrink' claims unproven

Thursday Sep 25 2014

Media multitasking 'shrinks the brain'

“Multitasking makes your brain smaller,” the Daily Mail reports. UK researchers found that people who regularly “media multitasked” had less grey matter in a region of the brain involved in emotion…

Job insecurity may increase adult asthma risk

Tuesday Sep 23 2014

Job insecurity may increase adult asthma risk

"People fearful of losing their jobs are 60% more likely to develop asthma," The Independent reports. A German study found that rates of newly-occurring asthma were higher in people who reported feeling insecure about their future job prospects…

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)…

Pregnant drinking may harm kids' mental health

Friday Sep 12 2014

Advice is clear: avoid alcohol in pregnancy

"Binge drinking ONCE during pregnancy can damage your child's mental health and school results," says the Mail Online. The headline follows an analysis of results from...

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...

Regular walking breaks 'protect arteries'

Tuesday Sep 9 2014

Regular walking breaks 'protects arteries'

"Just a five-minute walk every hour helps protect against damage of sitting all day," the Mail Online reports. Researchers found that people who took five-minute “standing breaks” every hour had improved blood flow…

Wearing a bra 'doesn't raise breast cancer risk'

Monday Sep 8 2014

Wearing a bra doesn't up breast cancer risk

“Scientists believe they have answered the decades long debate on whether wearing a bra can increase your risk of cancer,” reports The Daily Telegraph. There is an "urban myth" that wearing a bra disrupts the workings of the lymphatic system…

Gay people have 'poorer health' and 'GP issues'

Friday Sep 5 2014

Gay people have 'poorer health' and 'GP issues'

"Lesbians, gays and bisexuals are more likely to have longstanding mental health problems," The Independent reports, as well as "bad experiences with their GP". A UK survey found striking disparities in responses compared to heterosexuals…

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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