Want to help us improve NHS Choices?

Find out more and sign up to our user research panel

Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Depression 'starts in the womb' claim is unproven

Friday Jun 5 2015

Depression 'starts in the womb' claim is unproven

"The seeds of depression can be sown in the womb," is the claim in the Mail Online. A study did find that depression during pregnancy was linked to an increased risk of depression in adult offspring, but this could be due to a range of factors…

Children with autism may be supersensitive to change

Friday Jun 5 2015

Children with autism may be super-sensitive to change

"People with autism … are over-sensitive to the world," the Mail Online reports. It reports on an animal study involving a rat model of autism, where a chemical is used to mimic the development of autism in rats…

Five-year 'death test' for older adults launched online

Thursday Jun 4 2015

Five-year 'death test' for older adults launched online

"Are you dying to know? Scientists develop death test to predict if you'll make it to 2020," The Daily Telegraph reports. The test is based on analysis of data collected from the UK Biobank…

Breast cancer screening 'cuts deaths by 40%' expert panel says

Thursday Jun 4 2015

Breast cancer screening 'cuts deaths by 40%' expert panel says

"Women who undergo breast cancer screening cut their risk of dying from the disease by 40%, according to a global panel of experts," The Guardian reports. However, critics of screening say they have under-estimated the scale of overdiagnosis…

Can a single-shot therapy session cure insomnia?

Wednesday Jun 3 2015

Claims that single-shot therapy session can 'cure' insomnia

"Insomnia could be cured with one simple therapy session, new study claims," The Independent reports. UK researchers have been looking at whether cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) delivered in a single one-hour session can combat acute insomnia…

Poor sleep quality linked to Alzheimer's disease

Wednesday Jun 3 2015

Poor sleep quality linked to Alzheimer‘s disease

"Sleepless nights … could raise your odds of developing Alzheimer's," is the claim in the Daily Mail. A new US study did find a link between poor sleep quality and higher levels of abnormal proteins in the brain, but no cause and effect was proven…

Office workers of England - stand up for your health!

Tuesday Jun 2 2015

Office workers of England - stand up for your health!

Workers have been warned to "stand up for at least two hours a day in [the] office," according to The Daily Telegraph. It says these are the first official health guidelines on the issue…

Cats blamed for children’s poor reading skills

Tuesday Jun 2 2015

Cats blamed for children’s poor reading skills

"Parasite in cats linked to learning difficulties in children," The Daily Telegraph reports. A new study suggests that cat ownership increases the risk of Toxoplasma gondii parasite infection, which could affect cognitive functioning in children…

Can 'sleep training' make people less racist and sexist?

Monday Jun 1 2015

'Sleep training' may make people lest racist and sexist

"Levels of unconscious racist and sexist bias have been reduced by manipulating the way the brain learns during sleep," BBC News reports. A small study suggests that exposure to sound related to a previously learned task may combat inherent bias…

Immunotherapy drug combo could combat melanoma

Monday Jun 1 2015

Immunotherapy drug combo could combat melanoma

"New era in the war on cancer," is the over-hyped headline on the front of the Daily Mail. The new era refers to a trial looking at whether a combination of immunotherapy drugs could help with advanced melanoma skin cancer…

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 that recommends no more than 5% of our calorie intake should come from 'free sugars'. The previous recommendation was 10%