Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Cycling commuters have lower rates of heart disease and cancer

Friday Apr 21 2017

"Want to live longer? Reduce your risk of cancer? And heart disease? Then cycle to work," BBC News advises, prompted by a new study that found UK commuters who cycled to work had lower rates of cancer and heart disease…

Two older drugs could be 'repurposed' to fight dementia

Thursday Apr 20 2017

"Depression and cancer drugs offer hope for dementia sufferers," Sky News reports. The headline is prompted by a study looking at the effect of two drugs – one used to treat depression and another being trialled for cancer treatment...

Frog slime could protect us against future flu epidemic

Wednesday Apr 19 2017

"'Potent' new molecule in frog slime may give us new way to beat flu epidemics, say boffins," The Sun reports. Researchers looked at secretions from the skin of a south Indian frog called Hydrophylax bahuvistara…

Touchscreen-using toddlers may sleep less

Tuesday Apr 18 2017

"'Touchscreen-toddlers' sleep less," BBC News reports. Results from a survey of UK parents suggest every hour a child spends using a touchscreen device was associated with an hour's less sleep a night…

Being either under or overweight may increase migraine risk

Tuesday Apr 18 2017

"People who are too fat or too thin are 'more likely to suffer from migraines'," reports The Sun. Researchers reviewed data from 12 studies involving 288,981 people and concluded obese people have a 21% increased risk of migraines...

Could your tattoos put you at risk of heat stroke?

Thursday Apr 13 2017

"Do you have a tattoo? You may be at-risk of heat stroke as inked skin produces significantly less sweat than normal," the Mail Online reports. A small US study, involving 10 men, found tattooed skin produced less sweat…

Daily diet of fresh fruit linked to lower diabetes risk

Wednesday Apr 12 2017

"Eating fresh fruit daily could cut risk of diabetes by 12%," the Mail Online reports. A study of half a million people in China found those who ate fruit daily were 12% less likely to get type 2 diabetes than those who never or rarely ate it…

Brain cell reprogramming therapy shows promise for Parkinson's

Tuesday Apr 11 2017

"New technique in which brain cells are reprogrammed could one day provide a cure for Parkinson's disease," The Independent reports. Researchers, using mice with Parkinson's disease, "reprogrammed" cells to replace the nerves lost in the condition…

Growing up with a pet may boost a baby's bacterial health

Monday Apr 10 2017

"Having a pet dog…can help reduce the child's chances of developing allergies and becoming obese in later years," claims the Daily Mirror, in a somewhat misleading report. Researchers did find a link between pet ownership and an increased…

Tea not proven to 'shield you against dementia'

Friday Apr 7 2017

"It's tea time! How at least two cups a day can shield you from dementia," reports the Mail Online. This rather optimistic headline reports on a Singaporean study of around 900 Chinese people aged 55 and above…

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

You be the judge

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%