Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Brown fat may protect against diabetes and obesity

Monday Jan 26 2015

Brown fat may protect against diabetes and metabolic syndrome

“Fat can protect you against obesity and diabetes," the Mail Online reports. However, the small study it reports on was looking at brown fat, which is only found in small amounts in adults…

Statin use may be widening health inequalities in England

Friday Jan 23 2015

Use of statins may be widening health inequalities

'Mass prescription of statins ‘will widen social inequalities’' The Independent report. A UK analysis of heart disease deaths from 2000 to 2007 found that statins were far more effective for the richest 20% of the population compared to the poorest 20%...

Angry Twitter communities linked to heart deaths

Friday Jan 23 2015

Angry Twitter communities linked to heart deaths

"Angry tweeting 'could increase your risk of heart disease','' is the poorly reported headline in The Daily Telegraph. The study it reports on found there is a link between angry tweets and levels of heart disease deaths…

'Social jet lag' linked to obesity and 'unhealthy' metabolism

Wednesday Jan 21 2015

'Social jet lag' linked to obesity and 'unhealthy' metabolism

"Social jet lag is driving obesity" is the misleading headline in The Daily Telegraph. A new study only found a link between "social jet leg", obesity and metabolic markers that may indicate a person has an increased risk of obesity-related diseases…

Becoming healthier may motivate your partner to join in

Tuesday Jan 20 2015

Becoming healthier may motivate your partner to join in

“Fitness 'rubs off on your partner’,'' BBC News reports. This headline is based on a study of more than 3,000 married couples aged 50 and over in the UK, where at least one of the partners smoked, was inactive or was overweight or obese…

Wearing killer high heels could lead to osteoarthritis, study warns

Friday Jan 16 2015

Wearing killer high heels could lead to osteoarthritis, study warns

"Killer heels could lead to osteoarthritis in knees," The Daily Telegraph reports. An analysis of the walking patterns of 14 women found evidence that walking in high heels puts the knees under additional strain, which could damage cartilage…

How therapy and exercise 'may help some with CFS'

Wednesday Jan 14 2015

Exercise fears 'worsens' chronic fatigue syndrome

"Chronic fatigue syndrome patients' fear of exercise can hinder treatment," The Guardian reports. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a long-term condition that causes persistent and debilitating fatigue. We do not know what...

Does contraceptive jab make HIV more likely?

Monday Jan 12 2015

Contraceptive jab 'linked to increased HIV risk'

"Contraceptive injections moderately increase a woman's risk of becoming infected with HIV," The Guardian reports. The headline was prompted by an analysis of 12 studies that looked at whether the use of hormonal contraception…

Why common cold may thrive at low temperatures

Tuesday Jan 6 2015

The common cold may thrive in colder noses

"Keeping your nose warm may be the secret to avoiding [a cold]," the Mail Online reports. Results suggest that a colder temperature may reduce immune function inside the nasal cavity, allowing cold viruses to spread…

The top 10 most popular news stories of 2014

Wednesday Dec 24 2014

The top ten most popular news stories of 2014

In this 'end of year report' we count down the top 10 most-read Behind the Headlines stories of 2014…

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...

Superfoods: the evidence

We examine the evidence behind the health claims of 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

Atlas of risk

NHS Atlas of Risk

Compare cause of death and health risks based on age, sex and where you live

Strength and Flex

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