Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

'Electromagnetic smog' unlikely to harm humans

Thursday Dec 18 2014

'Electromagnetic smog' unlikely to harm humans

The Daily Telegraph reports: "mobile phones are unlikely to harm human health", adding to the ongoing coverage of the potential health impact of what some have called electromagnetic smog…

Shift workers more likely to report poor health

Thursday Dec 18 2014

Shift workers more likely to report poor health

"Higher rates of obesity and ill-health have been found in shift workers than the general population," BBC News reports. These are the key findings of a survey into health trends among shift workers; defined as any working pattern outside…

Fathers-to-be experience hormone changes

Wednesday Dec 17 2014

Fathers-to-be experience hormone changes

“Men suffer pregnancy symptoms too: Fluctuating hormones make fathers-to-be … more caring,” the Mail Online reports. A small US study found evidence of changes in hormonal levels that may make fathers-to-be more able…

E-cigarettes could help some smokers quit

Wednesday Dec 17 2014

E-cigarettes could help some smokers quit

"E-cigarettes can help smokers quit or cut down heavily," The Guardian reports. An international review of the evidence, carried out by the well-respected Cochrane Collaboration, found evidence that they can help some smokers quit…

Feeling 'young at heart' may increase lifespan

Tuesday Dec 16 2014

Feeling 'young at heart' may increase lifespan

"Feeling young at heart wards off death, scientists find," The Daily Telegraph reports. A UK study found that people who reported feeling younger than their actual age were less likely to die than those who reported feeling their actual age or older…

Yoga may help protect against heart disease

Tuesday Dec 16 2014

Yoga may help protect against heart disease

“Yoga could be as effective as cycling or brisk walks in reducing the risk of a heart attack or stroke,” The Guardian reports. Researchers have pooled the results of previous studies and reports finding 'promising evidence'…

Political hardliners 'fitter' than 'fence sitters'

Monday Dec 15 2014

Political extremists 'fitter' than 'fence sitters'

"Being an extremist is BETTER for your health than holding moderate views," the Mail Online reports. A very much tongue in cheek study presents evidence that "armchair socialists" and their right-wing counterparts are more active that political moderates…

Spicy food 'curries favour' with alpha males

Monday Dec 15 2014

'Alpha males' like spicy foods, study suggests

“Men who like spicier food are 'alpha males' with higher levels of testosterone,” The Daily Telegraph reports. A small French study found an association between a preference for spicy foods and elevated testosterone levels…

Could a '10 to 6' working day help you sleep better?

Friday Dec 12 2014

Should the working day be '10 to 6'; not '9 to 5'?

A major new study of American workers has recommended “later start times to improve on health,” the Mail Online reports. To improve people’s sleep patterns the research team suggested work start times could be moved later, such as 10am...

Memory gaps in graduates a 'stroke warning sign'

Friday Dec 12 2014

Memory gaps in educated 'stroke warning sign'

“People with memory problems who have a university education could be at greater risk of a stroke,” BBC News reports. The hypothesis is that the gaps in memory could be the result of reduced blood flow to the brain, which may then trigger a stroke…

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

Stem cell research in the news

Stem cells are often portrayed in the media as a miracle cure for many serious conditions and disabilities. We analyse the facts behind these stories

Miracle Foods: myths and the media

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

Video: the placebo effect

Watch Ben Goldacre explain what the placebo effect is and describes its role in medical research and in the pharmaceutical industry

Your NHS Health Check

Millions of people have already had their free "midlife MOT". Find out why this health check-up is so important

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...