Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Women's cancer risk may increase the longer they're obese

Wednesday Aug 17 2016

"Fat women who refuse to diet 'are more likely to get cancer'," states the Mail Online, using a headline that is both inaccurate and offensive. The study it reports on looked at the relationship between weight during adulthood, and cancer risk…

Does time of day influence our susceptibility to infection?

Tuesday Aug 16 2016

"Viruses more dangerous in the morning," BBC News reports, but The Telegraph tells us that "the evening commute is worse for health". So who's right? It depends if you're talking about mice or humans…

UK heart disease and stroke death rates now lower than cancer

Monday Aug 15 2016

"Heart disease deaths now lower than cancer – but obesity crisis means this may not last," the Daily Mirror reports. A major review of European trends in cardiovascular disease deaths found that UK cancer deaths overtook cardiovascular deaths in 2014…

Virtual reality helped improve nerve function in paralysed people

Friday Aug 12 2016

"Virtual reality has helped eight paralysed patients regain some feeling in their legs in 'a big surprise'," Sky News reports. Researchers using virtual reality (VR) combined with a robotic exoskeleton were surprised to find participants…

Gene patterns may explain brain's Alzheimer's vulnerability

Thursday Aug 11 2016

"Scientists say they have discovered a possible explanation for how Alzheimer's disease spreads in the brain," The Guardian reports. Gene patterns in specific areas may explain why the disease tends to start...

Sudden infant death advice 'being ignored' due to flat head worries

Wednesday Aug 10 2016

"Parents are risking their babies' lives by putting expensive pillows in their cots to stop the back of their heads being flattened," the Daily Mail reports. A review of parental attitudes found some were ignoring advice…

Decline in dog sperm quality 'could be a concern for humans'

Wednesday Aug 10 2016

"Study showing decline in dog fertility may have human implications," The Guardian reports. The study in question found a decline in the quality of British dogs' sperm since 1988…

Public Health England: music festivals 'are measles hotspots'

Tuesday Aug 9 2016

"Music festivals including Glastonbury have become a hotbed of measles this summer, Public Health England has warned," BBC News reports. The public health body have called on young people to check their vaccination status before attending an event…

Volunteering may boost mental wellbeing in older adults

Tuesday Aug 9 2016

"Giving up time for charity work found to boost mental wellbeing as people get older," the Mail Online reports. A new UK-based study found that volunteering was associated with increased mental wellbeing; but mainly in adults aged between 40 and 70…

New drug for severe asthma 'shows massive promise'

Monday Aug 8 2016

"Asthma drug 'gamechanger' could revolutionise treatment," The Guardian reports after a new drug called fevipiprant showed promising results in a small study of 61 people with moderate to severe asthma…

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%