Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

'Rebooted' stem cells may lead to new treatments

Monday Sep 15 2014

'Rebooted' stem cells may lead to new treatments

"Scientists have managed to 'reset' human stem cells," the Mail Online reports. It is hoped studying these cells will provide more information about the mechanics of early human development…

Could meditation help combat migraines?

Monday Sep 15 2014

Meditation may help mitigate against migraines

“Daily meditation may be the most effective way of tackling migraine,” the Daily Express reports. This headline is not justified as it was based on a small pilot study involving just 19 people. It showed that an eight-week "mindfulness-based…

Pregnant drinking may harm kids' mental health

Friday Sep 12 2014

Advice is clear: avoid alcohol in pregnancy

"Binge drinking ONCE during pregnancy can damage your child's mental health and school results," says the Mail Online. The headline follows an analysis of results from...

Weight discrimination study fuels debate

Friday Sep 12 2014

Research suggests "shaming" people about weight problems may be counterproductive

Much of the media has reported that discriminatory "fat shaming" makes people who are overweight eat more, rather than less. The Daily Mail describes how...

People may be addicted to eating rather than food

Thursday Sep 11 2014

People may be addicted to eating rather than food

“Food is not addictive ... but eating is: Gorging is psychological compulsion, say experts,” the Mail Online reports. The news follows an article in which scientists argue that – unlike drug addiction...

Bacteria found in honey may help fight infection

Thursday Sep 11 2014

Bacteria found in honey may help fight infection

"Bacteria found in honeybee stomachs could be used as alternative to antibiotics," reports The Independent. The world desperately needs new antibiotics to counter the growing threat of bacteria developing resistance...

Hundreds report waking up during surgery

Wednesday Sep 10 2014

Hundreds of people wake up during surgery

“At least 150, and possible several thousand, patients a year are conscious while they are undergoing operations,” The Guardian reports. A report suggests “accidental awareness” during surgery occurs in around one in 19,000 operations...

Prescription sleeping pills linked to increased Alzheimer’s risk

Wednesday Sep 10 2014

Sleeping pills may increase Alzheimer’s risk

“Prescription sleeping pills … can raise chance of developing Alzheimer's by 50%,” reports the Mail Online. This headline is based on a study comparing the past use of benzodiazepines, such as diazepam and temazepam...

Sibling bullying linked to young adult depression

Tuesday Sep 9 2014

Sibling bullying linked to adult depression

“Being bullied regularly by a sibling could put children at risk of depression when they are older,” BBC News reports. A new UK study followed children from birth to early adulthood. Analysis of more than 3,000 children found…

Regular walking breaks 'protect arteries'

Tuesday Sep 9 2014

Regular walking breaks 'protects arteries'

"Just a five-minute walk every hour helps protect against damage of sitting all day," the Mail Online reports. Researchers found that people who took five-minute “standing breaks” every hour had improved blood flow…

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...