Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Expanding waistline linked to an increased risk of cancer

Thursday May 25 2017

"A pot belly is a red flag for cancer," reports the Mail Online after a new study found an increase in waist circumference carries similar risks for developing cancer as raised body mass index (BMI)…

Swallowable gastric balloon could help with weight loss

Thursday May 18 2017

"Swallowable gastric balloon could help the obese lose weight without surgery," The Guardian reports. The news, which was widely reported, is based on a study presented at the European Congress of Obesity in Portugal...

'Fat but fit' still at higher risk of heart disease

Wednesday May 17 2017

"The idea that people can be fat but medically fit is a myth," reports BBC News. The story is based on research from scientists at the University of Birmingham, reported at a medical conference but not yet published...

Can fizzy water make you fat?

Monday May 15 2017

"Fizzy water could cause obesity by encouraging you to eat more," The Daily Telegraph reports. Researchers aimed to see whether it could be the carbonation in soft drinks – rather than the sugar…

Children with regular bedtimes 'less likely to become obese'

Monday Apr 24 2017

"Regular bedtimes make children less likely to be obese as adults," is the slightly misleading Mail Online headline. This follows a study looking at the link between household routines in early childhood and obesity at age 11...

Being either under or overweight may increase migraine risk

Tuesday Apr 18 2017

"People who are too fat or too thin are 'more likely to suffer from migraines'," reports The Sun. Researchers reviewed data from 12 studies involving 288,981 people and concluded obese people have a 21% increased risk of migraines...

Overweight young men 'more likely to get severe liver disease'

Tuesday Mar 21 2017

"Men who are overweight in their late teens have a higher risk of developing liver cancer in later life, new research suggests," reports ITV News. Swedish researchers also found a link to other serious types of liver disease…

Regular activity may help some people stay 'fat and fit'

Thursday Mar 2 2017

"You can be fat and healthy," is the misleading headline from the Daily Mail. While a Dutch study did find that activity could help avoid the increased risk of cardiovascular disease associated with obesity…

Wide range of cancers now linked to being overweight

Wednesday Mar 1 2017

"Increased risk of 11 types of cancer linked to being overweight," The Guardian reports. A new review in the BMJ found strong evidence of a link between body weight and 11 types of cancer, most of them either digestive…

Switching to wholegrains may boost metabolism

Thursday Feb 9 2017

"Eating more wholegrain foods can help to speed up weight loss, scientists claim," the Daily Mail reports. A small study found that people who ate wholegrains had a modest increase in their metabolic rate compared to those eating refined grains…

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