Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Warning over 'burnt toast chemical' acrylamide’s cancer risk

Monday Jan 23 2017

"Browned toast and potatoes are 'potential cancer risk', say food scientists," BBC News reports. The FSA has launched a campaign about the possible health risk of acrylamide; a chemical formed when starchy foods are subjected to a high temperature…

Youngest children in class 'more likely to be given ADHD drugs'

Monday Jan 23 2017

"Youngest children in class more likely to get ADHD medication, study says," The Guardian reports. The results of an Australian study have caused concerns that, in some cases, immature behaviour may be misinterpreted as evidence of a behavioural disorder…

MRI scans could spare 25% of men from prostate biopsies

Friday Jan 20 2017

"Every man with suspected prostate cancer should have an MRI scan," The Guardian reports. That is the conclusion of a study looking at how well MRI scans compare with the current practice of biopsies; removing sections of prostate tissue for analysis...

Sitting down all day 'may accelerate DNA ageing'

Thursday Jan 19 2017

"Women who lead a sedentary lifestyle have faster-ageing cells than those who exercise every day," BBC News reports. This research looked at telomeres – often likened to the caps at the end of shoelaces…

A third of adults treated for asthma 'may not have the disease'

Wednesday Jan 18 2017

"The great asthma myth: A third of those diagnosed don't have the condition," reports the Mail Online. A study in Canada found about one-third of adults diagnosed with asthma in the past five years showed no signs of the condition on retesting...

Eating disorders in middle-aged women 'common'

Wednesday Jan 18 2017

"Eating disorders…affect a small but substantial number of women in their 40s and 50s," BBC News reports. While often regarded as a "disease of the young", a new survey suggests 3.6% of middle-aged women in the UK are affected by an eating disorder…

Can colic really be cured by acupuncture?

Tuesday Jan 17 2017

"Is sticking needles in babies really the best way to ease distress from colic?" the Daily Mail asks. The question was prompted by a study that looked at whether acupuncture can help with colic in babies…

Hot red chilli peppers linked to longer lifespan

Monday Jan 16 2017

"How hot chilli could help you live longer," the Daily Mail reports. A US study found that people who reported eating red hot chilli peppers had around a 13% reduced risk of premature death compared to those who avoided them…

Urine test could reveal if your diet is a threat to your health

Friday Jan 13 2017

"A urine test that can reveal how healthy your meals are has been developed by UK scientists," BBC News reports. Researchers wanted to see if they could help crack one of the biggest problems confronting people trying to carry out studies…

Yoga 'may improve lower back pain'

Thursday Jan 12 2017

"Yoga can help relieve the agony of back pain, a major review of medical evidence found," the Daily Mail reports. The review concluded there is evidence yoga may help improve function and relieve pain associated with chronic lower back pain…

Miracle cure or scam?

Will an online miracle cure really provide the answer to your health problem?

Health anxiety (hypochondria)

Most of us worry about our health from time to time. But for some people, this worry never goes away and becomes a problem in itself

Miracle foods: myths and the media

Can a curry save your life? Read our report on the supposed health benefits of common foods

You be the judge

Fact or fiction? Killer or cure? We show you how to look Behind the Headlines

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...

Sugar intake should be reduced

Sugar intake should be drastically reduced, says report

A new government report recommends no more than 5% of our calorie intake should come from 'free sugars'. The previous recommendation was 10%