Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Could 'family-style meals' beat childhood obesity?

Wednesday Jan 15 2014

Confused reporting on child-care meal study

“Families who serve dinner at the table have slimmer children,” is the entirely unsupported claim from the Mail Online today. The website appears to have taken a leap of imagination by pinning this headline on research which did not…

A small amount of coffee 'will not dehydrate you'

Friday Jan 10 2014

Moderate coffee intake 'not dehydrating'

"Coffee is 'as hydrating' as drinking water," is the claim in the Daily Express. It reports on a new study suggesting that moderate coffee consumption does not dehydrate the body, as some had previously thought...

US recession saw more Google stress searches

Friday Jan 10 2014

US recession impacted Google health searches

"Google searches for stress-related illnesses rose during the recession," the Mail Online reports. The news comes from research looking at how US Google search trends for health complaints changed during the period…

Walking reduces heart disease in people at risk

Monday Dec 23 2013

Brisk walking is a good way to get some of the aerobic exercise you need

"An extra walk each day wards off killer heart illnesses," reports the Daily Express. The traditional New Year’s Day stroll is good for "blowing the cobwebs away", and...

Another cell study spun as 'age-reversing miracle'

Friday Dec 20 2013

Santa won't be bringing an anti-ageing miracle pill this year

Those of us concerned that we may not be looking as young as we used to have received an early Christmas present according to various news outlets. The Mail Online tells us that...

Brain shape different in former cannabis users

Tuesday Dec 17 2013

Cannabis is associated with memory problems

"Teenagers who smoke cannabis have 'poor memory and abnormal brain structures'," the Daily Mail reports. The headline accurately reflects...

Male circumcision 'doesn’t affect sexual satisfaction'

Thursday Dec 12 2013

Male circumcision doesn’t 'diminish sexual pleasure'

The Mail Online says: “It's official: Circumcision doesn’t affect sexual pleasure”. The story follows publication of a study which aimed to review the scientific literature to find out whether there is any difference in sexual…

Experts call for ketamine to be upgraded to class B

Tuesday Dec 10 2013

Ketamine 'should be made a class B drug'

“Ketamine should be reclassified as class B drug, government experts say,” The Guardian reports. The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, the body that advises the Home Office on drugs, has recommended...

'Safe' levels of air pollution could still be harmful

Monday Dec 9 2013

'Safe' levels of air pollution could still be harmful

“EU air quality rules are still too lax to protect us from pollution,” The Independent reports. It says that air quality regulations may not be sufficient to protect people from harmful sooty particles in traffic and factory fumes…

Study questions role of vitamin D in disease

Friday Dec 6 2013

Vitamin D pills: do they do any good?

"Doubt cast on vitamin D's role against disease," reports BBC News. The news come from a study summarising a large body of evidence from the best kind of trials – randomised controlled trials (RCTs)...

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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