Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

'Junk food' may increase cancer risk in 'healthy weight' women

Friday Aug 18 2017

"Women who eat junk food such as burgers or pizza are increasing their risk of cancer even if they're not overweight, new research has warned," reports the Daily Mail. The story is based on research from the US looking at the diet of postmenopausal women…

People who regularly groom their pubic hair at risk of injuries

Thursday Aug 17 2017

"A quarter of Americans are injured and hospitalized by tidying up 'down there'," the Mail Online reports. The headline is prompted by a survey which asked 7,570 adults about pubic hair removal and "grooming" (such as waxing)…

'Alternative cancer therapies' may increase your risk of death

Wednesday Aug 16 2017

"Cancer patients who use alternative medicine more than twice as likely to die," is the stark message from The Independent. Researchers found that people who chose alternative medicine instead of conventional cancer treatments…

'Fat but fit' people may still be at risk of heart disease

Tuesday Aug 15 2017

"Concept of being 'fit but fat' is a myth, researchers say," ITV News reports after a Europe-wide study looked at associations between body weight, metabolic health and heart disease…

Reports that antibacterials in pregnancy are 'harmful' unfounded

Monday Aug 14 2017

"Warning to pregnant women, don't use antibacterial soap! Chemicals in the products can make children fat and disrupt their development," is the alarming, yet entirely unsupported, headline from the Mail Online...

Gene editing brings pig organ transplant closer

Friday Aug 11 2017

"Gene editing to remove viruses brings transplant organs from pigs a step closer," The Guardian reports after researchers used the new CRIPSR gene editing technique. CRIPSR acts like a set of molecular scissors…

Vitamin B3 found in Marmite not proven to prevent miscarriage

Thursday Aug 10 2017

"Like it or loathe it, but Marmite could help prevent millions of miscarriages and birth defects around the world," is the overly optimistic headline in The Daily Telegraph. The news is based on research into just four families…

Saliva 'may speed healing' but 'kissing it better' probably won't

Thursday Aug 10 2017

"Kissing it better really works: Saliva found to have properties that help speed up the healing process," reports the Mail Online. Researchers in Chile investigated how human saliva may help wounds to heal more efficiently…

'Exercise pill' could potentially help people with heart failure

Wednesday Aug 9 2017

"Pill that mimics effects of going to the gym could transform lives of heart failure patients," the Daily Mirror reports. While the news sounds promising, it is important to make clear the research involved rodents, not people…

Software used to screen social media photos for depression signs

Tuesday Aug 8 2017

"The images you put up on Instagram could be used to diagnose if you're depressed," the Mail Online reports. Researchers attempted to see if computer-driven image recognition could diagnose depression based on…

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%