Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Traffic and aircraft noise linked to bigger bellies

Tuesday May 26 2015

Traffic and aircraft noise exposure linked to bigger bellies

"Living near a main road causes people to gain weight with the risk of obesity," is the slightly dubious claim in The Daily Telegraph. While a Swedish study did find an association between noise pollution and obesity, cause and effect has not been proved…

Obesity in teen boys may increase bowel cancer risk in later life

Tuesday May 26 2015

Obesity in teen boys may increase bowel cancer risk in later life

"Teenage boys who become very obese may double their risk of getting bowel cancer by the time they are in their 50s," The Guardian reports. A Swedish study found a strong association between teenage obesity and bowel cancer risk in later adulthood…

Children of the 90s more likely to be overweight or obese

Wednesday May 20 2015

90s kids more likely to be overweight or obese

"Children of the 90s are three times as likely to be obese as their parents and grandparents," the Mail Online reports. A UK survey looking at data from 1946 to 2001…

Overweight diabetics 'live longer' than slimmer diabetics

Monday May 11 2015

Overweight diabetics 'live longer' than slimmer diabetics

"Overweight diabetics are 13 per cent less likely to die prematurely than those of a normal weight or those who are obese," the Mail Online reports. Research suggests that the obesity paradox may be involved in diabetes…

Eating little and often 'no better for dieters than fewer feasts'

Friday May 8 2015

Eating little and often no better for dieters than fewer feasts

"Eating little and often – like Jennifer Aniston – could help dieters achieve a healthy weight loss," reports the Mirror. Meanwhile, the Mail Online urges us to "Forget three square meals a day – eating six smaller portions...

Brain’s 'hunger hub' could be switched off

Tuesday Apr 28 2015

Brain’s 'hunger hub' could be switched off

“Have scientists found a way to banish hunger pangs?,” the Mail Online asks. The question is prompted by research in mice looking at the “biological pathways” that regulate appetite and hunger…

There are six different types of obesity, study argues

Monday Apr 20 2015

There are six different types of obesity, study argues

"Researchers have identified six 'types' of obese person," The Independent reports. It's argued that each type would benefit from a targeted treatment programme for obesity, rather than a "one-size-fits-all" approach…

Middle age 'starts at 60' claims media

Thursday Apr 16 2015

'40 is the new 60' – middle age begins later in life now

"Middle age begins at 60, say researchers," The Times reports. A new population modelling study estimates that due to increased lifespan, what was once regarded as elderly should be seen as middle-aged, and this trend will continue into the future…

Middle-age spread 'seems to reduce dementia risk'

Friday Apr 10 2015

Middle-aged spread 'seems to reduce dementia risk'

"Being overweight 'reduces dementia risk'," BBC News reports. The story comes from a cohort study of nearly 2 million UK adults aged over 40. It showed that being overweight or obese was linked to a lower risk of dementia…

Do diet soft drinks actually make you gain weight?

Wednesday Apr 8 2015

Does drinking diet fizzy drinks actually make you fatter?

"Is Diet Coke making you fat? People who drink at least one can a day have larger waist measurements," the Mail Online reports. A US study found an association between the daily consumption of diet fizzy drinks and expanded waist size…

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