Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Night shifts 'linked to increased breast cancer risk'

Tuesday Jul 21 2015

Night-shift working linked to increased breast cancer risk

"Irregular sleeping patterns have been 'unequivocally' shown to lead to [breast] cancer in tests on mice, a study suggests," BBC News reports. Scientists are concerned a similar effect may occur in women working night shifts…

Study finds obese people may struggle to reach a healthy weight

Monday Jul 20 2015

Claims that obese people have a 'slim chance' of weight loss

“Obese men have just a '1 in 210' chance of attaining a healthy body weight,” The Independent reports. This was the findings of a study that looked at the body mass index (BMI) measurements of almost 300,000 people...

Sugar intake should be drastically reduced says report

Friday Jul 17 2015

Sugar intake should be cut by half, report recommends

"Sugar intake 'should be halved'," BBC News reports. The headline is prompted by a government report that recommends no more than 5% of our calorie intake should come from "free sugars". The previous recommendation was 10%...

Homer Simpson and Peppa Pig 'linked to childhood obesity'

Friday Jul 17 2015

Is there a link between Peppa Pig and children overeating?

"Peppa Pig and Homer Simpson could be fuelling the child obesity crisis by causing youngsters to eat more," The Daily Telegraph reports after a series of psychological experiments found a link between exposure to overweight characters…

Weak link between depression and frequent smartphone use

Thursday Jul 16 2015

Weak link between depression and frequent smartphone use

"Smartphone behaviour 'could diagnose depression' says new scientific study," the Daily Mirror reports. But based on the data presented in the study the paper is reporting on, we would disagree...

Should we worry about the 'flesh-eating killer bug'?

Wednesday Jul 15 2015

Group A streptococcus is usually not deadly

A "terrifying" and "flesh-eating" bug that "kills one in four it infects invasively" is spreading around the world, warns The Daily Telegraph in news that surprisingly didn't make its front page...

Researchers identify protein that spreads cancer

Tuesday Jul 14 2015

Researchers identify deadly 'cancer spreader' molecule

"Scientists have found a way of preventing the spread of cancer from the site of the original tumour," The Independent reports. Targeting proteins called DNA-PKcs could prevent cancer cells moving to other…

No proof tea is the 'elixir of life'

Monday Jul 13 2015

Is tea the elixir of life?

"Is the elixir of life as simple as two cups of tea?," the Mail Online asks, prompted by a study looking at whether tea drinking is associated with a longer life expectancy in women…

Are teens confused about their size and weight?

Friday Jul 10 2015

Most teens are good at estimating whether they're the right weight

"Third of overweight teenagers think they are right size, study shows," The Guardian says in one of many headlines on widely covered UK research...

Online symptom checkers’ reliability assessed

Thursday Jul 9 2015

Online symptom checkers’ reliability assessed

“The danger of an online diagnosis: Millions of emergencies are MISSED through symptom checker websites,” the Mail Online reports. American researchers have assessed the accuracy and reliability of 23 symptom checkers...

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