Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Does deadly diet drug DNP defeat diabetes?

Friday Feb 27 2015

Banned weight-loss drug DNP could treat diabetes

"A chemical [DNP] which caused munitions factory workers to lose weight inexplicably in the First World War could cure diabetes," The Daily Telegraph reports. The banned weight loss drug looked effective and safe when given in a modified form to rats…

Obesity damage to eggs may be reversible

Wednesday Feb 11 2015

Obesity damages women’s eggs, effect may be reversible

"Damaging effect of obesity on a woman’s eggs can now be reversed," is the misleading headline from the Mail Online today. The over-egged headline refers to a mouse, not human, study looking at obesity and fertility…

1980s fat guidelines 'lacked evidence,' study argues

Tuesday Feb 10 2015

1980s fat guidelines 'lacked evidence,' study argues

"Butter isn't bad for you after all: Major study says 80s advice on dairy fats was flawed," is the headline on the front of the Daily Mail as a new study argues dietary fat guidelines introduced in the 1980s lacked a rigorous evidence base…

Do men have greater chewing power than women?

Monday Feb 9 2015

'Wolf all' – men may be bigger 'munchers' than women

"Why men wolf down their meals while women take their time: The sexes have different chewing patterns," the Mail Online reports after a Korean study found men had "greater eating power" than women…

Child obesity rates are 'stabilising'

Friday Jan 30 2015

Child obesity rates are 'stabilising'

"The rise in childhood obesity … may be beginning to level off," BBC News reports. Researchers examined trends in child and adolescent rates of overweight and obesity using electronic GP records from 1994 to…

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…

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What is Behind the Headlines?

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