Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Women now drinking 'almost as much alcohol as men'

Tuesday Oct 25 2016

"Women have caught up with men in the amount of alcohol they drink," The Guardian reports. A survey of data from around the world suggests the gap between men and women is closing rapidly when it comes…

Heading footballs may cause short-term brain changes

Monday Oct 24 2016

"Heading a football can significantly affect a player's brain function and memory for 24 hours, a study has found," BBC News reports. The news is based on a small experimental study involving 19 amateur footballers. The players were asked…

Sweetened drinks, including diet drinks, may raise diabetes risk

Friday Oct 21 2016

"Drinking more than two sugary or artificially sweetened soft drinks per day greatly increases the risk of diabetes, research has shown," The Guardian reports. The research was a Swedish cohort study of sweetened drink…

'Statins in a tube': Could a new toothpaste prevent heart disease?

Thursday Oct 20 2016

"Brushing teeth thoroughly to remove plaque could help prevent heart attacks … by reducing inflammation," The Daily Telegraph reports. A study found that "Plaque HD" toothpaste was related to a drop in inflammation levels…

Anti-inflammatory arthritis drugs may help with depression

Wednesday Oct 19 2016

"Arthritis pills could help beat depression," The Sun reports. A review of studies suggests anti-cytokine drugs, currently used to treat inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, could have a role in treating depression…

Bacteria that process nitrates in food 'may trigger migraines'

Wednesday Oct 19 2016

"Research shows [migraine] sufferers have higher levels of bacteria involved in processing nitrates, and could explain why some foods appear to act as migraine triggers," The Guardian reports. Nitrates are found in processed meats, like bacon…

A 10-minute walk after every meal 'effective at controlling diabetes'

Tuesday Oct 18 2016

"Short stroll after meals better for blood sugar than walks at other times," says The Daily Telegraph. The story is based on a study which aimed to see whether taking a 10-minute walk after a main meal resulted in lower blood glucose levels...

Does IVF cut birth defect risk in babies with older mothers?

Monday Oct 17 2016

"Women aged 40 or over are less likely to have babies with birth defects if they conceive by IVF," the Daily Mail reports, while The Daily Telegraph adds that, "Older mothers have healthier babies if they conceive using IVF"…

Fussy eating in children may be partially genetic

Friday Oct 14 2016

"Is your child a fussy eater? It could be down to genetics not parenting," the Daily Mirror reports. A study involving twins suggests food fussiness as well as food neophobia – unwillingness to try new foods – may partially be the result of genetics…

Antidepressants 'double suicide risk' says controversial study

Thursday Oct 13 2016

"Antidepressants could double the risk of feelings that could lead to suicide, according to a new study which has triggered furious rows," The Daily Telegraph reports. Critics have attacked the study as "fatally flawed" because researchers…

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%