Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Effects of vitamin D for heart failure far from 'stunning'

Wednesday Apr 6 2016

"Vitamin D can produce 'amazing' improvements in heart function," claims The Independent about the results of a recent study, while BBC News reported suggestions the results were "stunning". However, the study in question...

Choir singing may boost immunity in people affected by cancer

Tuesday Apr 5 2016

"Being in a choir could help the body fight cancer by boosting the immune system," the Daily Mail reports. The study involved 193 people from Wales who were affected by cancer in some way…

Global obesity rates expected to soar in next decade

Friday Apr 1 2016

"One-fifth of adults worldwide will be obese by 2025," The Guardian reports, while The Sun warns that the "UK's population to be fattest in Europe" by the same date. These are just some of the conclusions of a major…

Mindfulness may be effective for treating lower back pain

Wednesday Mar 23 2016

"Meditation could ease the agony of back pain, a study suggests," the Daily Mirror reports. A US study compared a technique called mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) with usual care and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for…

Claims that man flu 'really exists' are unsupported

Wednesday Mar 23 2016

"Man flu really does exist," reports the Mail Online in a massive leap from the results of a small study that didn't look at flu at all. The study actually looked at why women are more likely to have autoimmune conditions such as lupus…

Pushy or rude patients 'more likely' to be misdiagnosed

Thursday Mar 17 2016

"'Difficult' patients are more likely to get the wrong diagnosis," The Daily Telegraph reports. A Dutch study suggests that patients who are aggressive or argumentative may cause doctors to lose focus when trying to make a diagnosis…

Quitting smoking overnight 'better than cutting down gradually'

Tuesday Mar 15 2016

"Want to quit smoking? Forget trying to cut down, if you really want to kick the habit 'going cold turkey is the best option'," is the headline from the Mail Online. The news website reports on a trial by UK-based researchers that aimed to assess…

No cure for grey hair

Wednesday Mar 2 2016

"A cure to dye for … the end of grey hair is in sight," says The Daily Telegraph. Several other media outlets have also reported enthusiastically about the discovery of a gene for grey hair, and how this could pave...

Daily diet of almonds is no magic solution for weight loss

Wednesday Feb 24 2016

"Desperate to lose weight?" asks the Mail Online. "Eat almonds! Handful a day 'wards off hunger and replaces empty calories from junk food'," it says, entirely without any justification, as the study it reports on didn't look at weight…

Air pollution 'kills 40,000 a year' in the UK, says report

Tuesday Feb 23 2016

"Air pollution is contributing to about 40,000 early deaths a year in the UK," BBC News reports. The figures are the conclusion of a report assessing the impact of air pollution on public health in the UK…

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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