Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Smoking bans linked to fewer heart attacks and strokes

Thursday Feb 4 2016

The ban on smoking indoors in public places “has helped save the lives of passive smokers,” says the Daily Mail. The headline refers to a review of the effects of smoking bans, which found fewer admissions to hospitals...

Just one hour of sitting down may increase diabetes risk by a fifth

Wednesday Feb 3 2016

"Every extra hour sitting down can raise your risk of type 2 diabetes by a fifth," the Daily Mirror reports. The paper reports on a study that looked at the effects of sedentary behaviour on type 2 diabetes risk…

Playground equipment contains toxic levels of lead paint

Monday Jan 25 2016

"Paint on playground equipment has been found to contain high amounts of the toxin lead – up to 40 times recommended levels," BBC News reports. Researchers sampled levels at 26 playgrounds in the south of England…

Calls for research into effects of ultrasound exposure on health

Wednesday Jan 20 2016

"Ultrasound in public places could be triggering sickness," the Daily Mail reports. Ultrasounds are high frequency sound waves used by a wide range of devices, and are thought to be inaudible to most humans...

Are ads for candy-flavoured e-cigs tempting teens to vape?

Monday Jan 18 2016

"Advertisements for … flavoured e-cigarettes could encourage children to try vaping," ITV News reports after a study found children shown these ads were more likely to express an interest in trying flavoured e-cigs…

Men at high risk of getting HIV 'need preventative treatment'

Thursday Jan 14 2016

"Giving healthy gay men HIV drugs 'could help reverse epidemic'," BBC News reports. A modelling study looking at the effects of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), where drugs are used to prevent infection…

Exercise is 'most effective' method of preventing lower back pain

Wednesday Jan 13 2016

"Exercise is the best medicine to banish back pain and stop people taking sick days," reports the Daily Mirror. While this may be true, the research in question did not look at treatments for existing back pain…

Dry January 'can lead to healthier drinking patterns long-term'

Monday Jan 4 2016

"Study … found that Dry January leads to healthier drinking habits," the Mail Online reports. Dry January involves giving up alcohol for the month. There is limited evidence about whether taking part in the challenge...

The top 10 most popular news stories of 2015

Wednesday Dec 30 2015

In this end of year report, we count down the top 10 most-read Behind the Headlines stories of 2015…

Being happy 'won't help you live longer' survey finds

Friday Dec 11 2015

"Happiness doesn't make you live longer, survey finds," reports The Guardian after a survey of more than 700,000 women found no evidence of a direct cause and effect link between happiness and life expectancy...

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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