Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

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…

No proof that sugar-free soft drinks are healthier, argues review

Wednesday Jan 4 2017

"Soft drinks made with artificial sweeteners, such as diet colas, do not help people lose weight and may be as big a part of the obesity problem as the full-sugar versions," The Guardian reports. While the headline may sound definitive…

Fat storage problems may increase diabetes risk

Thursday Nov 17 2016

"Inability to store fat safely increases diabetes risk," BBC News reports. Researchers have found links between genetic variations known to affect the storage of fat in the body and type 2 diabetes, as well as heart attacks and strokes…

Researchers discover the role of hormone in 'creating fat'

Friday Oct 28 2016

"Why stress can make you overweight: Hormones turn normal cells into dangerous fat," the Mail Online reports. The headline is prompted by research into the newly discovered role of the Adamts1 hormone on the formation of fat cells...

Gut bacteria may be linked to 'dangerous' body fat

Monday Sep 26 2016

The BBC reports that: "The make-up of the bacteria found in human faeces may influence levels of dangerous fat in our bodies." The article is based on a UK study looking at faeces samples taken from twins, and various measures of obesity...

Fitness trackers 'don't help you lose weight'

Friday Sep 23 2016

“Fitness trackers may not help weight loss,” reports Sky News on a new trial which investigated whether using wearable technology helped people lose more weight compared to standard weight-loss programmes...

People with 'obesity gene' can still lose weight

Wednesday Sep 21 2016

"No excuses not to slim as 'fat gene' found not to affect ability to lose weight," reports The Daily Telegraph. It is one of several news outlets to report on research suggesting people who put on weight easily because of a genetic variant…

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