Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Many white English and Irish pensioners 'drinking to excess'

Monday Aug 24 2015

"One in five people over 65 who drink is consuming an "unsafe" level of alcohol, say researchers," BBC News reports. Their research found "unsafe drinking was far more common among the white British and Irish population"…

Just one drink a day 'may raise breast cancer risk'

Thursday Aug 20 2015

"Just one drink a day raises breast cancer risk" is the front page headline in the Daily Mail following the results of a new study. While the health risks of heavy drinking are well established, the effects of light drinking are less clear…

Low-fat diet 'better' than low-carb diet for getting rid of body fat

Friday Aug 14 2015

"Low-fat diets 'better than cutting carbs' for weight loss," says BBC News. But wait, the Mail Online says: "Low-carb 'is best for weight loss". Confused? Traditionally, weight-loss diets were based on the concept of eating a low-fat diet…

Butter 'not bad for you' but trans fats may be 'harmful'

Wednesday Aug 12 2015

"Butter unlikely to harm health, but margarine could be deadly," The Daily Telegraph reports. A major analysis of data found no link between saturated fats and heart disease, stroke or diabetes, but there was a link with trans fats…

Does red meat affect male fertility?

Tuesday Aug 11 2015

"Want to be a dad? Cut out sausages and eat chicken," the Daily Mail reports, prompted by the findings of a recent study into diet and fertility outcomes for couples undergoing fertility treatment…

Can eating white bread and pasta make you depressed?

Friday Aug 7 2015

"White bread and pasta 'may increase the risk of depression'," reports the Mail Online today. The news outlet is reporting on a study of post-menopausal women’s diets and their depressive symptoms over time...

New brain diet 'slows mental decline'

Thursday Aug 6 2015

"Eating food rich in vitamins and minerals keeps the brain younger," reports the Daily Express. The headline was prompted by a US study of a new diet called MIND, which appeared to slow down ageing of the brain...

Could eating spicy food help you live longer?

Wednesday Aug 5 2015

"Curry really could be the spice of life," says The Daily Telegraph, reporting on a study looking at the link between regularly eating foods that contain capsaicin – found in chilli peppers – and the risk of dying early...

Is there really a middle-class drinking 'epidemic' in over-50s?

Friday Jul 24 2015

"Middle-class over-50s have become a generation of problem drinkers," the Mail Online reports – a headline that actually has little basis in fact...

Sugary drinks linked to 8,000 new UK diabetes cases a year

Wednesday Jul 22 2015

"Are sugary drinks causing 8,000 cases of diabetes every year?," the Daily Mirror asks, as a new study estimates they could cause thousands of type 2 diabetes cases in the UK, and millions in the US…

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What is Behind the Headlines?

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

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