Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Cranberry juice 'useful' for women with recurring UTIs, claims study

Monday Jun 20 2016

"Drinking cranberry juice could reduce the worldwide use of antibiotics," is the somewhat optimistic headline in The Daily Telegraph. A new study found some modest preventative benefit in women with a history of reoccurring urinary tract infections…

Could 5:2 diet play a role in preventing breast cancer?

Friday Jun 17 2016

"Women who follow the 5:2 diet 'could reduce their risk of breast cancer','' the Mail Online reports. A small study found some women who followed the diet experienced breast cell changes thought to be protective against breast cancer. But the study…

Coffee's cancer risk downgraded (as long as you don't drink it hot)

Thursday Jun 16 2016

"Very hot drinks may cause cancer, but coffee does not, says WHO," The Guardian reports. A review by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that only beverages consumed at higher than 65C posed a possible cancer risk…

Brain scans find differences in 'badly behaved' teen boys

Thursday Jun 16 2016

"'Striking’ structural differences seen in study which compared brain scans of young men with antisocial behavioural problems with their healthy peers," The Guardian reports.

Three servings of wholegrains a day 'cuts risk of early death'

Wednesday Jun 15 2016

"Eating Weetabix for breakfast 'can slash your risk of dying early from any cause'," the Daily Mirror reports. A new study looking at wholegrain consumption (not just Weetabix) found a strong link between consumption and improved…

Teens who vape e-cigs 'six times more likely to smoke cigarettes'

Tuesday Jun 14 2016

"Vaping is a gateway to smoking," the Mail Online reports, seriously overstating the evidence of a new US study. While the study did find teens who experimented with e-cigs were more likely to smoke "traditional" tobacco products…

Study says there's no link between cholesterol and heart disease

Monday Jun 13 2016

"Controversial report claims there's no link between 'bad cholesterol' and heart disease," the Daily Mail reports. Researchers, looking at previous data, argue that there is no connection between “bad cholesterol” and heart disease deaths in the over 60s…

Risky stem cell treatment 'halts progress of multiple sclerosis'

Friday Jun 10 2016

"New treatment can 'halt' multiple sclerosis, says study," BBC News reports. The treatment involves effectively destroying the existing immune system and creating a new one using stem cells. But this new treatment…

Should we rethink the causes of anorexia?

Thursday Jun 9 2016

"Anorexia is not about a fear of getting fat, but rather a pleasure at losing weight, experts reveal," says the Daily Mail. The headline oversimplifies the results of a study that looked at women's responses to photos of women of varying weights…

Green tea extract 'boosts mental ability' in people with Down's

Wednesday Jun 8 2016

"Down's syndrome can be treated with green tea," says The Daily Telegraph, reporting on a study that looked at the effect of a chemical extract on learning difficulties…

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%