Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Some babies should be given peanuts early say new US guidelines

Friday Jan 6 2017

"Babies should be given peanut early – some at four months old – in order to reduce the risk of allergy, according to new US guidance," BBC News reports. The guidelines are based on UK-led research that found early exposure reduced allergy risk…

No proof that sugar-free soft drinks are healthier, argues review

Wednesday Jan 4 2017

"Soft drinks made with artificial sweeteners, such as diet colas, do not help people lose weight and may be as big a part of the obesity problem as the full-sugar versions," The Guardian reports. While the headline may sound definitive…

Sugar guidelines unreliable says study funded by sugar industry

Wednesday Dec 21 2016

"A study … challenged recommendations by public health officials for people to cut sugar consumption," the Mail Online reports. The study has been criticised as it is funded by companies who sell sugary products, including Coca-Cola…

Diet rich in processed meat 'may worsen asthma symptoms'

Wednesday Dec 21 2016

"Regularly indulging in a bacon sandwich doubles the risk of an asthma attack," is the needlessly alarming headline in The Sun. A French study suggests eating four or more portions of processed (cured) meats a week may worsen symptoms like wheezing…

Sugar tax would 'cut childhood obesity'

Friday Dec 16 2016

'Sugary drinks tax 'will benefit children most',' BBC News reports. A new study, where researchers tried to estimate the impact of a sugar tax on soft drinks, found that it would help combat child obesity as well as tooth decay...

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…

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…

Just a small cut in saturated fats reduces heart disease risk

Friday Nov 25 2016

"Swapping butter and meat for olive oil and fish does cut the risk of heart disease," The Times reports. New research suggests that swapping just 15% of your daily calorie intake away from saturated fats could reduce heart disease risk by around 8%...

Review questions recent official vitamin D guidance

Thursday Nov 24 2016

"Vitamin D pills branded 'waste of time' and could even be 'harmful' according to new research," The Sun reports. But, despite the headline, no new research has been done. The news comes from a review of existing evidence…

Bagged salads 'pose salmonella risk,' say researchers

Monday Nov 21 2016

"Bagged salad can fuel the growth of food-poisoning bugs like salmonella and make them more dangerous," BBC News reports. Researchers found evidence that the environment inside a salad bag offers an ideal breeding ground for salmonella, a type of…

What is Behind the Headlines?

We give you the facts without the fiction. Professor Sir Muir Gray, founder of Behind the Headlines, explains more...

Superfoods: the evidence

We examine the evidence behind the health claims made about the most popular superfoods

Clinical trials and medical research

Clinical trials explained, including how to take part in one and why medical research is important

Strength and Flex

Download our Strength and Flexibility podcast series and get a free personal trainer