Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Reduced antibiotic prescribing did not raise serious infections rates

Thursday Jul 7 2016

"Surgeries that handed out the fewest pills do not have higher rates of serious illnesses," the Daily Mail reports. A new study looked at the impact of prescribing patterns of antibiotics by GPs. The researchers were particularly interested in…

Study finds link between saturated fats and early death

Wednesday Jul 6 2016

"Eating more saturated fats raises risk of early death, says US study," The Guardian reports. A major study involving more than 80,000 women would seem to contradict recent high-profile reports that a diet rich in saturated fat is safe…

Pasta-rich diet may 'prevent pounds from piling on', says study

Tuesday Jul 5 2016

"Pasta DOESN'T make you fat – it actually helps weight loss," the Daily Mail reports. In the latest round of the nutrition wars, carbs are fighting back, with a study showing that a diet rich in pasta was linked to lower BMI and waist size…

Paracetamol in pregnancy 'link to autism and ADHD' not proven

Monday Jul 4 2016

"Women who take paracetamol during pregnancy 'risk having a child with autism or ADHD'," the Mail Online reports. But the Spanish study it reports on provides no evidence of a direct link to either condition…

Many women think shaving pubic hair is 'hygienic'

Friday Jul 1 2016

"More women think shaving pubic hair is 'hygenic' [sic] despite greater health risks," The Independent reports. A US survey found more than half of women who groomed their public hair did so for hygiene reasons, despite evidence that shaving…

'Stop demonising butter,' say researchers

Thursday Jun 30 2016

"Butter has been wrongly 'demonised' as unhealthy," reports the Express following the publication of a study that found eating butter did not increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes...

Sports drinks may have adverse effects on teens' dental health

Wednesday Jun 29 2016

"High numbers of younger teenagers are risking tooth decay and obesity by regularly having high-sugar sport drinks," BBC News reports. A survey of Welsh teenagers found high levels of consumption in teens, who seem unaware of their high-sugar content…

Heart attacks linked to media statin reports ... reports media

Wednesday Jun 29 2016

"Don't give up your statins: Experts say warnings that made patients stop taking vital drug have put lives at risk," the Daily Mail reports. This was the same newspaper that told us two weeks ago that "statins may be a waste of time"…

Is 'Disney Princess culture' a bad influence on young girls?

Tuesday Jun 28 2016

"Disney princesses such as Elsa from Frozen can damage young girls' body esteem," the Daily Mail reports – inaccurately. The study the news comes from actually found a more complex pattern of influences on both girls and boys...

Children's plastic toys can 'harbour viruses for hours'

Monday Jun 27 2016

"Plastic toys 'can harbour nasty viruses for hours, raising risk of infection'," the Mail Online reports. New research suggests that enveloped viruses, which have a protective shell, may survive on toys for up to 24 hours...

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%