Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

High-dose vitamin D 'doesn't prevent colds and flu in kids'

Wednesday Jul 19 2017

"Vitamin D will not protect your child from a cold: myth-busting study says 'more isn't always better' to help toddlers stay healthy," says the Mail Online. The story is based on a study that looked at…

Face-to-face bullying much more common than cyberbullying

Thursday Jul 13 2017

"Children suffer significantly more face-to-face bullying than online abuse," reports the Mail Online. UK researchers questioned nearly 300,000 15-year-olds about their experiences of bullying in the biggest study of the subject to date…

Overweight teen boys have increased risk of stroke in later life

Thursday Jun 29 2017

"Boys who get fat in their teenage years are much more likely to suffer a life-threatening stroke as an adult, experts today warned," The Sun reports. Swedish researchers suspect the association could be down to the effects of...

Does paracetamol taken in pregnancy affect masculinity?

Friday Jun 23 2017

"Taking paracetamol when pregnant 'makes boys less manly, less aggressive and lowers their sex drive'," reports The Sun. But the alarming headline doesn't explain that the research was in mice, not humans. Researchers gave daily doses...

Obese mums more likely to give birth to babies with birth defects

Thursday Jun 15 2017

"Women who are obese when they conceive are more likely to have a baby with serious birth defects," The Guardian reports. Swedish researchers looked at more than a million health records and found a link between excess body mass index (BMI)…

An egg a day may prevent stunted growth in infants

Thursday Jun 8 2017

"An egg a day appears to help young children grow taller," BBC News reports. Research involving young children in Ecuador found babies given one egg a day for six months had improved growth compared with…

Babies put into their own room at six months 'sleep longer'

Tuesday Jun 6 2017

"Babies moved into their own room at six months sleep better and are lower risk of obesity, poor sleep patterns and tantrums," reports The Sun. This is based on a US study looking at room-sharing…

TV in bedroom 'risk factor' for child obesity

Monday Jun 5 2017

"Children who have TVs in their bedrooms are more likely to be overweight than those who do not," BBC News reports. A UK study found a link between children having a TV in their room and an increased risk of obesity…

Link between stress in pregnancy and ADHD unfounded

Wednesday May 31 2017

"Stressed mothers-to-be face an increased risk of giving birth to a child who will develop ADHD or heart disease later in live," the Mail Online reports. However, the new study it is reporting on did not look at long-term outcomes in children…

Parents' phone addiction may lead to child behavioural problems

Wednesday May 31 2017

"Is our smartphone addiction damaging our children?," The Guardian asks, after publication of a recent study into "technoference" – when people switch their attention away from others to check their phone or tablet…

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