Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Young women with high-fibre diet may have lower breast cancer risk

Tuesday Feb 2 2016

"Teenage girls who get their five-a-day cut breast cancer risk by up to 25 per cent," the Daily Mirror reports. A US study suggests that a high-fibre diet based on eating plenty of fruit and vegetables reduces the risk of breast cancer in later life…

Proton beam therapy 'effective' and 'causes fewer side effects'

Monday Feb 1 2016

"Proton beam cancer therapy 'effective with fewer side effects'," BBC News reports. A US study found the technique caused fewer side effects than conventional radiotherapy…

High-flavonoid foods, like berries and apples, 'prevent weight gain'

Friday Jan 29 2016

"Get fruity to get fit: Eat more berries to beat a big belly," The Sun reports. The advice is based on the findings of a major new study looking at the effects of foods rich in the compound flavonoid, such as berries and apples, on body weight…

Antidepressants linked to suicide and aggression in teens

Thursday Jan 28 2016

"Antidepressant use doubles the risk of suicide in under 18s and the risks to adults may have been seriously underestimated," The Daily Telegraph reports. A review of patient reports compiled by drug companies suggests risks may have been under-reported…

New clues that Alzheimer’s may have been spread during surgery

Wednesday Jan 27 2016

"Researchers have reported a second case that suggest [sic] Alzheimer's can be transmitted during medical treatments," the Mail Online reports. Researchers carried out autopsies of seven people who died from Creutzfeld Jakob Disease…

'Autistic' monkeys created in controversial study

Tuesday Jan 26 2016

"Genetically modified (GM) monkeys that develop symptoms of autism have been created to help scientists discover treatments for the condition," The Guardian reports. Chinese researchers used gene editing techniques to create monkeys with autistic traits…

Playground equipment contains toxic levels of lead paint

Monday Jan 25 2016

"Paint on playground equipment has been found to contain high amounts of the toxin lead – up to 40 times recommended levels," BBC News reports. Researchers sampled levels at 26 playgrounds in the south of England…

Seasonal affective disorder 'may be a myth', study argues

Friday Jan 22 2016

"Stop blaming SAD for your bad mood - it doesn't exist! Seasonal changes have 'NO effect on depression'," the Daily Mail reports. A new study found no significant association between lack of sunshine and reported symptoms of depression…

Paternal depression linked to premature birth

Thursday Jan 21 2016

"Depression in expectant fathers linked to premature births," The Independent reports. A Swedish study found a link between paternal depression occurring for the first time and an increased risk of very premature birth…

New genetic risk factor for ovarian cancer identified

Thursday Jan 21 2016

"A faulty gene has been identified that increases the risk of ovarian cancer more than threefold," The Independent reports. The genetic mutation, found in the BRIP1 gene, adds to the known genetic warning signs for ovarian cancer…

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%