Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Pokémon no-go: game's exercise effects short-lived in most players

Wednesday Dec 14 2016

"Pokémon GO doesn't help people to stay fit and healthy," the Mail Online reports. A survey of US players of the popular augmented reality game found the average player's daily step rate fell back to pre-game levels after six weeks…

Brain tests may predict children at risk of becoming 'social burdens'

Tuesday Dec 13 2016

"Brain tests predict children's futures," BBC News reports. A study found that childhood factors such as low IQ, parental neglect and poor self-control were strongly associated with "socially costly" outcomes in adulthood, including smoking and obesity…

Claim high-fat diets can prevent diabetes 'unproven'

Monday Dec 12 2016

"Diets laden with butter, cream and cheese 'can help combat surge in type 2 diabetes'," the Mail Online reports. But the study it reports on only followed a small group of men for 12 weeks – not long enough to determine whether…

Report looks at the health of the 'baby boomer' generation

Friday Dec 9 2016

"Baby boomers should 'stay in work to keep healthy'," reports BBC News, while The Daily Telegraph warns that "Swinging sixty-somethings see swell in sexually transmitted diseases"…

Some psychotic episodes 'may be triggered by immune disorders'

Friday Dec 9 2016

"Sufferers of psychotic illnesses 'may have treatable immune disorder'," The Independent reports. Researchers from Oxford University found around 9% of people presenting with psychotic symptoms also had signs of immune dysfunction…

Child 'more likely to use drugs if mum smoked when pregnant'

Thursday Dec 8 2016

"Children are more likely to use cannabis if their mother smoked while pregnant," the Mail Online reports. New research suggests smoking in pregnancy could affect the genes of the child, increasing their risk of substance abuse in later life…

Moderate exercise 'better for sperm' than high intensity exercise

Wednesday Dec 7 2016

"'Doing at least half an hour of exercise three times a week may boost men's sperm count'," BBC News reports. Researchers recruited 261 healthy married men who were randomly allocated to three different training programmes…

Grooming pubic hair linked to increased STI risk

Tuesday Dec 6 2016

"Women and men who regularly trim or remove all their pubic hair run a greater risk of sexually transmitted infections," BBC News reports. A survey of around 7,500 Americans, aged between 18 and 65 years, found…

Handful of nuts 'cuts heart disease and cancer' risk

Monday Dec 5 2016

"People consuming at least 20 grams of nuts daily less likely to develop potentially fatal conditions such as heart disease and cancer," The Independent reports. That was the main finding of a review looking at 20 previous studies on the benefits of nuts…

Could Parkinson's disease start in the gut?

Friday Dec 2 2016

"Parkinson's disease 'may start in gut'," BBC News reports. New research involving mice suggests that bacteria in the gut may lead to a greater decline in motor function in patients with Parkinson's disease. The study involved a mouse model...

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%