Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

A 15-minute daily walk 'will help you live longer' says study

Tuesday Aug 4 2015

A 15-minute daily walk 'will help you live longer' says study

Going for a 15-minute walk every day will "make you live longer", reports the Mail Online. It is one of several news outlets to report that small amounts of daily exercise may be enough to increase your chances of living longer...

Scientists hail '100% effective' Ebola vaccine

Monday Aug 3 2015

The Ebola virus: cases are often fatal

"Ebola vaccine is 'potential game-changer'," says BBC News, while the Daily Mail cites a "100% effective jab" for the disease. These headlines stem from early results of a trial investigating the effects of an Ebola...

Hiding HIV virus 'flushed out' by skin cancer drug

Monday Aug 3 2015

Blood samples of people with HIV were used in this study

"HIV flushed out by cancer drug", BBC News reports. This headline was prompted by laboratory research showing the promising results of a cancer drug being used to treat HIV…

New 'iClusters' identify five subtypes of prostate cancer

Friday Jul 31 2015

New 'iClusters' identify five subtypes of prostate cancer

"Scientists have identified five types of prostate cancer, each with a distinct genetic signature," BBC News reports. The hope is that recognising the genetic signature of a specific cancer could lead to targeted treatments...

Can the so-called 'male menopause' be treated with HRT?

Thursday Jul 30 2015

Can the so-called 'male menopause' be treated with HRT?

"New research suggests that testosterone deficiency in older men is much more prevalent than current screening methods suggest, and that more men would benefit from hormone treatment," The Daily Telegraph reports…

NICE produces new draft guidelines on caring for the dying

Wednesday Jul 29 2015

NICE produce new draft guideline on the care of the dying

"England's health watchdog has put forward new draft guidance to improve the care of adults in their last few days of life," BBC News reports.The guidelines, produced by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)…

Some over-the-counter drugs may be linked to falls in older men

Wednesday Jul 29 2015

Some over-the-counter drugs linked to falls in older men

"Popular over-the-counter drugs for hay fever and insomnia may increase the risk of a serious fall among older men," the Daily Mail reports after a study suggested anticholinergic drugs, which can cause side effects such…

Nose balloon could be used to treat glue ear

Tuesday Jul 28 2015

How a nose balloon could help treat glue ear

"Using the nose to inflate a balloon helps heal glue ear," BBC News reports. The technique, known as autoinflation, was found to be effective in around half of cases of this common childhood ear condition…

The placebo effect can still work, even if people know it's a placebo

Monday Jul 27 2015

The placebo effect can still work, even if people know it's a placebo

"The placebo effect is real – even if you know the treatment you've been given has no medical value, research has concluded," the Mail Online reports. The study in question aimed to further understand how placebos – inactive or dummy treatments – work…

Is there really a middle-class drinking 'epidemic' in over-50s?

Friday Jul 24 2015

'Epidemic' of harmful drinking in the middle-class middle aged

"Middle-class over-50s have become a generation of problem drinkers," the Mail Online reports – a headline that actually has little basis in fact...

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

How to read health news

How to read health news

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%