Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Exercise benefits you - even in polluted city air

Friday May 6 2016

"Why walking is good for you ... even in the smog. Health benefits of a stroll found to outweigh harm caused by chemicals and dust pumped out by traffic," says the Mail Online. The report in question was carried out...

Can you really 'catch' obesity?

Thursday May 5 2016

"Obesity could be contagious like superbug C diff, suggest scientists," The Daily Telegraph reports. This rather alarming headline follows a study that explored characteristics of bacteria living in the human gut...

Diluted apple juice 'as good as' rehydration drinks for children

Wednesday May 4 2016

"Scientists have revealed which fruit can stop toddlers crying due to stomach pains," says the Daily Mirror, missing the point of the study it reports on. The study looked at the use of diluted apple juice to prevent dehydration...

Gene breakthrough promises 'bespoke' breast cancer treatment

Tuesday May 3 2016

"Breast cancer treatment breakthrough after 'milestone' genetic discovery," says The Independent, about widely reported research investigating genetic mutations in people with breast cancer...

Does 'ginger gene' offer key to younger looking skin?

Friday Apr 29 2016

"'Secret' of youthful looks in ginger gene," BBC News reports. Dutch researchers have found evidence that a gene associated with red hair – the MC1R gene – may also have an impact on how young or old a person looks for their age...

Short bursts of intense exercise 'as good' as endurance training

Thursday Apr 28 2016

"Researchers have found that short bursts of intense exercise produce similar results to traditional longer-duration workouts," the Mail Online reports…

Yoga 'probably good for asthma symptoms and quality of life'

Thursday Apr 28 2016

"Yoga could help asthma sufferers, research finds," reports The Independent. A major review of existing data found there is "moderate-quality evidence" that yoga improves both symptoms and reported quality of life in people with asthma…

Vitamin D, fish oil and folates may enhance antidepressants

Wednesday Apr 27 2016

"Do antidepressants work better when taken with supplements?," the Mail Online asks. A new review of existing evidence suggests that, "Omega-3 fish oils, certain amino acids, folate and vitamin D" may boost the beneficial effect of antidepressants…

Bedbugs 'prefer certain colours'

Tuesday Apr 26 2016

"Bed bugs appear to have a strong preference for particular colours," BBC News reports. A new study suggests the pests prefer red and black and "hate yellow and green"…

Med diet best for heart disease (but some junk food won’t hurt)

Monday Apr 25 2016

"People with heart disease have a lower risk of heart attack and strokes if they eat a Mediterranean-style diet," The Guardian reports. The study it reports on also suggests that the occasional Western-style treat probably doesn't pose much of a risk…

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%