Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Fat storage problems may increase diabetes risk

Thursday Nov 17 2016

"Inability to store fat safely increases diabetes risk," BBC News reports. Researchers have found links between genetic variations known to affect the storage of fat in the body and type 2 diabetes, as well as heart attacks and strokes…

Study looks at nursing assistants’ effect on patient outcomes

Wednesday Nov 16 2016

"Patients are a fifth more likely to die on wards where nurses have been replaced by untrained staff, a major study has found," the Daily Mail reports. This latest research into 243 hospitals across Europe...

Testing sense of smell may give early warning of Alzheimer's risk

Tuesday Nov 15 2016

"A new four-point test has fine-tuned smell exams to check for Alzheimer's," the Mail Online reports. The testing is based on recognising and then recalling certain distinct smells, such as lemon or menthol…

First time flu infection may affect lifetime immunity

Monday Nov 14 2016

"A person's chances of falling ill from a new strain of flu are at least partly determined by the first strain they ever encountered, a study suggests," BBC News reports. Researchers created a modelling study, based on historic data…

Probiotics 'aid memory in people with Alzheimer's disease'

Friday Nov 11 2016

"Probiotics found in yoghurt and supplements could help improve thinking and memory for people with Alzheimer's disease," The Daily Telegraph reports after a small study found…

Scouts and Guides 'grow up to have better mental health'

Thursday Nov 10 2016

"Scouts and guides provide 'mental health boost for life'," BBC News reports. A study of adults with a scouting or guiding background found they were less likely to be anxious or depressed in later life…

Teen vapers 'more likely to take up smoking'

Thursday Nov 10 2016

"Vaping raises likelihood of teenagers starting to smoke, study suggests," The Guardian reports. A study of US teens found those who regularly vaped were more likely to progress to tobacco smoking than their non-vaping peers…

Hopes raised that Zika virus could be treated in the womb

Wednesday Nov 9 2016

"Scientists say they may have found a way to protect babies in the womb from the harmful effects of Zika," BBC News reports. Researchers have had success using antibody therapy to treat mice when they were still in their mothers' womb…

Common food additives 'linked' to bowel cancer

Tuesday Nov 8 2016

"Why processed food may cause bowel cancer: Common additives change gut bacteria which allow tumours to grow," reports the Mail Online. This follows a study in mice investigating whether common food additives (E numbers)...

Smoking causes hundreds of genetic mutations

Monday Nov 7 2016

"Research quantifies genetic damage caused by smoking," the Mail reports, saying a pack a day causes 150 mutations in lung cells. This study analysed the DNA sequence of cells from more than 5,000 cancers...

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%