Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

'20 classrooms of kids' a day take up smoking

Thursday Dec 5 2013

'20 classrooms of kids' a day take up smoking

"The equivalent of 20 classrooms-full of children take up smoking every day in the UK," reports The Independent. This disturbing headline comes from estimates of the number of children between the ages of 11 and 15 who start smoking each day…

Today's mums 'less active' than mothers in the 1960s

Wednesday Dec 4 2013

Today's mums 'less active' than their 1960s counterparts

"Mothers today need around 200 fewer calories a day than those of previous generations because they spend more time watching TV," the Daily Mail has reported. Its story is based on research looking at the physical activity levels of American mothers…

HPV vaccine could be offered to boys

Friday Nov 29 2013

HPV vaccine may be offered to boys

"HPV vaccine could be given to boys as well as girls in UK," The Guardian reports. It goes on to say that, "Government advisers are to consider whether the HPV vaccine, routinely offered to girls...

Are private patients 'too posh to push'?

Tuesday Nov 26 2013

Are private patients 'too posh to push'?

"Well-off mothers really are 'too posh to push'," the Mail Online reports after an Irish study found that mothers who use private healthcare services had twice the odds of having a planned caesarean section as women using state-funded care…

'Field of gold' scanner cuts children's radiation risk

Monday Nov 25 2013

'Field of gold' scanner cuts radiation risk

“A new method for scanning children's livers for tumours could prevent them being exposed to unnecessary radiation,” BBC News reports. The scanner, based on ultrasound technology, successfully identified liver tumours…

Steroid use in premature babies linked to ADHD

Monday Nov 25 2013

Steroid use in premature babies linked to ADHD

"Steroid injections for premature babies could raise ADHD risk," reports The Daily Telegraph after a Finnish study found a link between steroid use (corticosteroids) in premature babies and developmental conditions such as attention deficit…

Is it harder to detect autism in girls?

Friday Nov 15 2013

Girls may be 'hiding' their autism symptoms

“Thousands of girls may have autism that has never been diagnosed because they cover-up the signs so well,” the Mail Online reports. The headline is prompted by a study focusing on one of the key symptoms of autistic spectrum disorder…

Claims pregnancy exercise boosts baby brain power

Monday Nov 11 2013

Exercise in pregnancy: 'baby brain booster'

Claims that pregnant mums who exercise may be boosting their baby's intelligence have been reported across the media. The popularity of this story has probably been driven by the…

Can autism really be detected in babies?

Thursday Nov 7 2013

Autism signs can be seen in baby's first few months

"Autism can be identified in babies as young as two months, early research suggests," BBC News reports. Using eye-tracking technology researchers have identified subtle differences in the way affected babies respond to visual prompts…

Experts argue that ADHD is 'overdiagnosed'

Wednesday Nov 6 2013

ADHD 'overdiagnosed' experts argue

An article published by the British Medical Journal, claiming that attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is being overdiagnosed, has been reported in some of the papers. The Daily Mail warned that some children diagnosed with ADHD…

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...

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