Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Gut bacteria may be linked to 'dangerous' body fat

Monday Sep 26 2016

The BBC reports that: "The make-up of the bacteria found in human faeces may influence levels of dangerous fat in our bodies." The article is based on a UK study looking at faeces samples taken from twins, and various measures of obesity...

Fitness trackers 'don't help you lose weight'

Friday Sep 23 2016

“Fitness trackers may not help weight loss,” reports Sky News on a new trial which investigated whether using wearable technology helped people lose more weight compared to standard weight-loss programmes...

People with 'obesity gene' can still lose weight

Wednesday Sep 21 2016

"No excuses not to slim as 'fat gene' found not to affect ability to lose weight," reports The Daily Telegraph. It is one of several news outlets to report on research suggesting people who put on weight easily because of a genetic variant…

C-section babies 'more likely' to grow up obese

Wednesday Sep 7 2016

"Babies born by caesarean more likely to be obese as adults, study suggests," The Guardian reports. A US study found that babies born via caesarean section had a 64% increased risk of becoming obese compared to their siblings born by vaginal delivery…

Excess body fat now linked to 13 different types of cancer

Thursday Aug 25 2016

"Experts have linked eight more cancers to being overweight or obese, nearly tripling the list from five to 13," the Daily Mail reports. This is the latest finding of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)…

Women's cancer risk may increase the longer they're obese

Wednesday Aug 17 2016

"Fat women who refuse to diet 'are more likely to get cancer'," states the Mail Online, using a headline that is both inaccurate and offensive. The study it reports on looked at the relationship between weight during adulthood, and cancer risk…

'Walk or cycle to work to lose weight' says study

Tuesday Jul 19 2016

"Pedalling the pounds away: Why cycling could be the best way to lose weight," says The Daily Telegraph, reporting on a UK study comparing how different methods of commuting affected obesity levels...

Obesity 'now a leading cause of death; especially in men'

Thursday Jul 14 2016

"Being overweight or obese puts men at a greater risk of dying prematurely than women," BBC News reports. A survey of global trends found obesity was now second only to smoking as a cause of premature death in Europe…

Should we 'eat breakfast like a king and dinner like a pauper'?

Thursday Jun 23 2016

"We should 'eat breakfast like a king' to fight obesity, scientists claim," the Daily Mirror reports. The headline was prompted by a new review into "chrono-nutrition", which involves seeing if when we eat is as important as what we eat…

BMI categories may need adjusting, argue researchers

Wednesday May 11 2016

"Being overweight may not be as unhealthy as it was 40 years ago," BBC News reports. New research has found a body mass index (BMI) of 27 is linked to the lowest rate of death – but someone with a BMI of 27 is currently classed as being overweight...

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 made about 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

Strength and Flex

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