Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Can eating like a Viking 'reduce obesity risks'?

Thursday Jan 8 2015

'Eat like a Viking' advice for the obese

"A Nordic diet could reduce the dangers of being overweight, a study suggests," The Daily Telegraph reports. The headline comes from the results of a small randomised controlled trial…

Could meal-in-a-pill 'trick' body into losing weight?

Wednesday Jan 7 2015

Could meal-in-a-pill 'trick' body into losing weight?

"Weight loss drug fools body into reacting as if it has just eaten," The Guardian reports. The drug, fexaramine, replicates signals that are produced when the body begins eating; though as yet has only been tested in mice…

Wholegrains, not just porridge, may increase life

Tuesday Jan 6 2015

Claims 'porridge prolongs life' are inaccurate

"The key to a long and healthy life? A bowl of porridge every day," is the somewhat inaccurate headline in the Daily Mail. The study it reports on was looking at the health benefits of wholegrains in general, not just porridge…

GI diet 'debunked' claims are misleading

Friday Dec 19 2014

Crisp sandwiches: not recommended on the GI diet

Today, the Mail Online says: "The GI diet debunked: Glycaemic index is irrelevant for most healthy people", explaining how "it doesn't matter if you eat white or wholewheat bread". This overgeneralised and misleading headline followed...

Shift workers more likely to report poor health

Thursday Dec 18 2014

Shift workers more likely to report poor health

"Higher rates of obesity and ill-health have been found in shift workers than the general population," BBC News reports. These are the key findings of a survey into health trends among shift workers; defined as any working pattern outside…

Spicy food 'curries favour' with alpha males

Monday Dec 15 2014

'Alpha males' like spicy foods, study suggests

“Men who like spicier food are 'alpha males' with higher levels of testosterone,” The Daily Telegraph reports. A small French study found an association between a preference for spicy foods and elevated testosterone levels…

Food additive could reduce appetite

Thursday Dec 11 2014

Food additive could reduce appetite, prevent obesity

"Appetite suppressing additive could be added to food to create 'slimming bread'," ITV News reports. A compound called inulin-propionate ester is thought to stimulate the production of appetite suppressing hormones, making people feel full-up…

Obesity could 'rob you' of 20 years of health

Friday Dec 5 2014

Obesity could 'rob you' of 20 years of health

"Obesity knocks 20 years of good health off your life and can accelerate death by eight years," the Mail Online reports. A study has estimated very obese men aged 20 to 39, with a body mass index (BMI) of 35…

Nitrate-rich leafy greens 'good for the heart'

Thursday Dec 4 2014

Nitrate-rich leafy greens 'good for the heart'

“Leafy vegetables contain chemical nitrate that improves heart health,” the Mail Online reports. In a recent study, researchers looked at the effects of a nitrate-rich diet on rats…

Do time-restricted eating habits reduce obesity?

Thursday Dec 4 2014

Time-restricted eating habits may reduce obesity

“Want to lose weight? Eat all your food in an eight-hour time frame – and never snack at night,” reports the Mail Online. However, these tips are based on a mouse study – no humans were involved…

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...

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