Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Low-level drinking in early pregnancy 'harms baby'

Tuesday Mar 11 2014

Low-level drinking in early pregnancy 'harms baby'

"Drinking alcohol early in pregnancy, even in small amounts, increases chances of harming your baby," reports The Independent, one of several news outlets to report on the latest study on the risks of drinking during pregnancy...

Children's diets contain 'too much salt'

Tuesday Mar 11 2014

Children's diets contain 'too much salt'

“Children eat too much salt,” reports The Daily Telegraph, one of several news outlets to report on new findings that have led researchers to call for further reductions in the salt content of processed food...

Are e-cigarettes a 'gateway to nicotine addiction'?

Monday Mar 10 2014

E-cigarettes have sparked a fierce debate

"E-cigarettes are encouraging a new generation to become hooked on nicotine," reports the Mail Online today. E-cigarettes are devices that deliver a heated aerosol ("vapour") of nicotine in a way that mimics conventional cigarettes...

Claims new blood test can detect Alzheimer's disease

Monday Mar 10 2014

Could new tests make accurately diagnosing dementia easier?

“Blood test that can predict Alzheimer's,” was the headline used by BBC News, the Daily Mail and The Guardian today. Similar coverage was seen across many of the front pages of other newspapers...

Antibiotic resistance 'toolkit' launched

Friday Mar 7 2014

Antibiotic resistance 'toolkit' launched

"Antibiotics: 'national threat' from steep rise in patients who are resistant to drugs,” The Daily Telegraph reports. The Mail Online reports that there were, “600 reported cases of drugs failing…

'Peeing' in pool may create harmful byproducts

Friday Mar 7 2014

'Peeing' in pool may create toxic by-products

Peeing in the pool could be bad for your health the Mail Online reports. As well as being deeply impolite, new research suggests that urine can react with chlorinated water creating potentially harmful byproducts…

HIV 'gene hack' offers new treatment hope

Thursday Mar 6 2014

HIV 'gene hack' offers new treatment hope

"HIV gene therapy using GM cells hailed a success after trial," reports The Guardian, while the BBC tells us that an "immune upgrade" could offer “HIV shielding"...

WHO says halving sugar target has extra benefit

Thursday Mar 6 2014

Suagr - delicious, but bad for your teeth

“Halve sugar intake, say health experts,” The Daily Telegraph reports, while The Guardian tells us that “a can of coke a day is too much sugar”. The widespread media reports follow new draft international guidelines looking at...

Parental smoking 'ages' children’s arteries

Wednesday Mar 5 2014

Parental smoking 'ages' children’s arteries

'Passive smoking causes lasting damage to children's arteries, prematurely ageing their blood vessels by more than three years' BBC News reports. A Finnish study has found evidence that exposure to secondhand smoke damages children’s arteries…

High protein diet not as bad for you as smoking

Wednesday Mar 5 2014

High protein diet may be harmful for middle-aged

“People who eat diets rich in animal protein carry similar cancer risk to those who smoke 20 cigarettes each day,” reports The Daily Telegraph. We have decades of very good evidence that smoking kills and – fortunately for meat lovers...

Probiotics

Many health claims are made for probiotics. Find out when they might help and when to be sceptical

Call to make 5 a day fruit and veg into '7 a day'

Recent research suggests that eating seven portions of fruit and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of dying from heart disease and cancer. Should we all be eating more?

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

Stem cell research in the news

Stem cells are often portrayed in the media as a miracle cure for many serious conditions and disabilities. We analyse the facts behind these stories

Miracle Foods: myths and the media

Can a curry save your life? Read our report on the supposed health benefits of common foods

Video: the placebo effect

Watch Ben Goldacre explain what the placebo effect is and describes its role in medical research and in the pharmaceutical industry

Alcohol, myths and the media

Can lager help you live longer? Can wine help you lose weight? We take a sober look at the media’s claims about alcohol, and what the science actually says

LifeCheck

Take a LifeCheck

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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...