Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Vaginal orgasm 'doesn't exist', researchers argue

Wednesday Oct 8 2014

Vaginal orgasm 'doesn't exist', researchers argue

"There is no such thing as a vaginal orgasm," says the Mail Online, in a story that suggests some women have been diagnosed with sexual disorders based on the "myth" that they can orgasm through vaginal intercourse alone…

Cannabis labelled 'harmful and as addictive as heroin'

Tuesday Oct 7 2014

The potential harms of cannabis may be under-recognised

"Cannabis: the terrible truth," is today's Daily Mail front page splash story. The paper cites the risks posed by cannabis – including a doubling of the risk of schizophrenia...

Eating with a fat friend 'makes you eat more'

Monday Oct 6 2014

Eating with a fat friend 'makes you eat more' claim

"Sitting next to overweight people makes you more likely to gorge on unhealthy food," the Daily Express reports. A study involving an actress in a fat suit found that people tended to eat more when she was wearing the suit…

Moderate regular drinking may 'damage sperm'

Friday Oct 3 2014

Even moderate regular drinking damages sperm

“Just five alcoholic drinks a week could reduce sperm quality,” The Guardian reports. A study involving Danish military recruits found that even moderate drinking, if done regularly, was associated with a drop in quality…

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...

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...

Superfoods: the evidence

We examine the evidence behind the health claims of the most popular superfoods

Clinical trials and medical research

Clinical trials explained, including how to take part in one and why medical research is important

Atlas of risk

NHS Atlas of Risk

Compare cause of death and health risks based on age, sex and where you live

Strength and Flex

Download our Strength and flexibility podcast series and get a free personal trainer