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Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Can eating white bread and pasta make you depressed?

Friday Aug 7 2015

Pasta is a starchy food with a high glycaemic index

"White bread and pasta 'may increase the risk of depression'," reports the Mail Online today. The news outlet is reporting on a study of post-menopausal women’s diets and their depressive symptoms over time...

Contraceptive pill 'cuts womb cancer risk'

Friday Aug 7 2015

Research suggests potentially important health benefits from the Pill

"The pill cuts womb cancer cases by 200,000," the Sky News website reports, in an uncommon example of a credible headline figure. However, it should be noted that it refers to the amount of endometrial cancer cases prevented over 10 years...

New brain diet 'slows mental decline'

Thursday Aug 6 2015

New brain diet 'slows mental decline'

"Eating food rich in vitamins and minerals keeps the brain younger," reports the Daily Express. The headline was prompted by a US study of a new diet called MIND, which appeared to slow down ageing of the brain...

Could eating spicy food help you live longer?

Wednesday Aug 5 2015

Could eating spicy food lower the risk of dying early?

"Curry really could be the spice of life," says The Daily Telegraph, reporting on a study looking at the link between regularly eating foods that contain capsaicin – found in chilli peppers – and the risk of dying early...

A 15-minute daily walk 'will help you live longer' says study

Tuesday Aug 4 2015

A 15-minute daily walk 'will help you live longer' says study

Going for a 15-minute walk every day will "make you live longer", reports the Mail Online. It is one of several news outlets to report that small amounts of daily exercise may be enough to increase your chances of living longer...

Scientists hail '100% effective' Ebola vaccine

Monday Aug 3 2015

The Ebola virus: cases are often fatal

"Ebola vaccine is 'potential game-changer'," says BBC News, while the Daily Mail cites a "100% effective jab" for the disease. These headlines stem from early results of a trial investigating the effects of an Ebola...

Hiding HIV virus 'flushed out' by skin cancer drug

Monday Aug 3 2015

Blood samples of people with HIV were used in this study

"HIV flushed out by cancer drug", BBC News reports. This headline was prompted by laboratory research showing the promising results of a cancer drug being used to treat HIV…

New 'iClusters' identify five subtypes of prostate cancer

Friday Jul 31 2015

New 'iClusters' identify five subtypes of prostate cancer

"Scientists have identified five types of prostate cancer, each with a distinct genetic signature," BBC News reports. The hope is that recognising the genetic signature of a specific cancer could lead to targeted treatments...

Can the so-called 'male menopause' be treated with HRT?

Thursday Jul 30 2015

Can the so-called 'male menopause' be treated with HRT?

"New research suggests that testosterone deficiency in older men is much more prevalent than current screening methods suggest, and that more men would benefit from hormone treatment," The Daily Telegraph reports…

NICE produces new draft guidelines on caring for the dying

Wednesday Jul 29 2015

NICE produce new draft guideline on the care of the dying

"England's health watchdog has put forward new draft guidance to improve the care of adults in their last few days of life," BBC News reports.The guidelines, produced by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)…

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%