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Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Aspirin lowers risk of hereditary bowel cancer in obese people

Tuesday Aug 18 2015

Obesity raises risk of hereditary bowel cancer; aspirin lowers it

"A daily aspirin may slash bowel cancer risk for the obese," the Daily Mail reports. But the headline fails to make it clear that this latest research didn't involve people in the general public who were obese…

Low-fat diet 'better' than low-carb diet for getting rid of body fat

Friday Aug 14 2015

Low-fat diet 'better' than low-carb diet for getting rid of body fat

"Low-fat diets 'better than cutting carbs' for weight loss," says BBC News. But wait, the Mail Online says: "Low-carb 'is best for weight loss". Confused? Traditionally, weight-loss diets were based on the concept of eating a low-fat diet…

Study finds obese people may struggle to reach a healthy weight

Monday Jul 20 2015

Claims that obese people have a 'slim chance' of weight loss

“Obese men have just a '1 in 210' chance of attaining a healthy body weight,” The Independent reports. This was the findings of a study that looked at the body mass index (BMI) measurements of almost 300,000 people...

Homer Simpson and Peppa Pig 'linked to childhood obesity'

Friday Jul 17 2015

Is there a link between Peppa Pig and children overeating?

"Peppa Pig and Homer Simpson could be fuelling the child obesity crisis by causing youngsters to eat more," The Daily Telegraph reports after a series of psychological experiments found a link between exposure to overweight characters…

Are teens confused about their size and weight?

Friday Jul 10 2015

Most teens are good at estimating whether they're the right weight

"Third of overweight teenagers think they are right size, study shows," The Guardian says in one of many headlines on widely covered UK research...

Sugary drinks killing 'hundreds of thousands', study estimates

Tuesday Jun 30 2015

Sugary drinks killing 'hundreds of thousands', claims study

“Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year, says study,” The Independent reports. This is the alarming claim of researchers who created a model of sugary drink-related deaths based on global consumption rates…

Some health food brands may 'do more harm than good' claim

Thursday Jun 25 2015

Health food brands 'do more harm than good' claim

"How so-called 'healthy' snacks could do more harm than good," the Mail Online reports, after a US study found that people who were presented with a food branded as healthy were then less likely to exercise as hard as people offered a normal food option…

Mushroom supplement could be one way to tackle obesity

Wednesday Jun 24 2015

Mushroom extract could be one way to tackle obesity

"A mushroom used for centuries in Chinese medicine reduces weight gain in animals," BBC News reports. A supplement from the Ganoderma lucidum mushroom reduced weight gain by altering bacteria inside the digestive system of mice…

Drinking plenty of red wine won’t help you lose weight

Monday Jun 22 2015

Drinking plenty of red wine won’t help you lose weight

Sorry to be party poopers but The Daily Telegraph’s headline "How to lose weight - drink plenty of red wine," is simply nonsense. The study it reports on did not involve red wine and was carried out on mice, not humans…

Weighing yourself every day may help with weight loss

Friday Jun 19 2015

Weighing yourself everyday may help with weight loss

"Stepping on the scales every day could be the key to weight loss, a study has found," the Mail Online reports. This report was based on a US study which suggested daily weighing can lead to a small, though sustainable, loss in weight...

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