Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Brown fat may protect against diabetes and obesity

Monday Jan 26 2015

Brown fat may protect against diabetes and metabolic syndrome

“Fat can protect you against obesity and diabetes," the Mail Online reports. However, the small study it reports on was looking at brown fat, which is only found in small amounts in adults…

'Social jet lag' linked to obesity and 'unhealthy' metabolism

Wednesday Jan 21 2015

'Social jet lag' linked to obesity and 'unhealthy' metabolism

"Social jet lag is driving obesity" is the misleading headline in The Daily Telegraph. A new study only found a link between "social jet leg", obesity and metabolic markers that may indicate a person has an increased risk of obesity-related diseases…

Can eating like a Viking 'reduce obesity risks'?

Thursday Jan 8 2015

'Eat like a Viking' advice for the obese

"A Nordic diet could reduce the dangers of being overweight, a study suggests," The Daily Telegraph reports. The headline comes from the results of a small randomised controlled trial…

Could meal-in-a-pill 'trick' body into losing weight?

Wednesday Jan 7 2015

Could meal-in-a-pill 'trick' body into losing weight?

"Weight loss drug fools body into reacting as if it has just eaten," The Guardian reports. The drug, fexaramine, replicates signals that are produced when the body begins eating; though as yet has only been tested in mice…

Shift workers more likely to report poor health

Thursday Dec 18 2014

Shift workers more likely to report poor health

"Higher rates of obesity and ill-health have been found in shift workers than the general population," BBC News reports. These are the key findings of a survey into health trends among shift workers; defined as any working pattern outside…

Yoga may help protect against heart disease

Tuesday Dec 16 2014

Yoga may help protect against heart disease

“Yoga could be as effective as cycling or brisk walks in reducing the risk of a heart attack or stroke,” The Guardian reports. Researchers have pooled the results of previous studies and reports finding 'promising evidence'…

Food additive could reduce appetite

Thursday Dec 11 2014

Food additive could reduce appetite, prevent obesity

"Appetite suppressing additive could be added to food to create 'slimming bread'," ITV News reports. A compound called inulin-propionate ester is thought to stimulate the production of appetite suppressing hormones, making people feel full-up…

Hopes for chemicals that turn 'bad' fat 'good'

Tuesday Dec 9 2014

Hopes for a compound that turns 'bad' fat 'good'

"Scientists discovered how to trigger a molecule which can turn 'bad' white fat cells into 'good' energy-burning brown fat cells," The Daily Telegraph reports, saying that it could "replace the treadmill". But this proof of concept lab research…

Obesity could 'rob you' of 20 years of health

Friday Dec 5 2014

Obesity could 'rob you' of 20 years of health

"Obesity knocks 20 years of good health off your life and can accelerate death by eight years," the Mail Online reports. A study has estimated very obese men aged 20 to 39, with a body mass index (BMI) of 35…

Nitrate-rich leafy greens 'good for the heart'

Thursday Dec 4 2014

Nitrate-rich leafy greens 'good for the heart'

“Leafy vegetables contain chemical nitrate that improves heart health,” the Mail Online reports. In a recent study, researchers looked at the effects of a nitrate-rich diet on rats…

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What is Behind the Headlines?

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