Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

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…

Obese people 'underestimate how much sugar they eat'

Tuesday Mar 17 2015

Do obese people underestimate their sugar intake?

"Obese people are 'in denial' about the amount of sugar they eat," the Mail Online reports. Researchers looking into the link between sugar consumption and obesity found a "huge gap" between overweight people's self-reported...

Does deadly diet drug DNP defeat diabetes?

Friday Feb 27 2015

Banned weight-loss drug DNP could treat diabetes

"A chemical [DNP] which caused munitions factory workers to lose weight inexplicably in the First World War could cure diabetes," The Daily Telegraph reports. The banned weight loss drug looked effective and safe when given in a modified form to rats…

Obesity damage to eggs may be reversible

Wednesday Feb 11 2015

Obesity damages women’s eggs, effect may be reversible

"Damaging effect of obesity on a woman’s eggs can now be reversed," is the misleading headline from the Mail Online today. The over-egged headline refers to a mouse, not human, study looking at obesity and fertility…

1980s fat guidelines 'lacked evidence,' study argues

Tuesday Feb 10 2015

1980s fat guidelines 'lacked evidence,' study argues

"Butter isn't bad for you after all: Major study says 80s advice on dairy fats was flawed," is the headline on the front of the Daily Mail as a new study argues dietary fat guidelines introduced in the 1980s lacked a rigorous evidence base…

Do men have greater chewing power than women?

Monday Feb 9 2015

'Wolf all' – men may be bigger 'munchers' than women

"Why men wolf down their meals while women take their time: The sexes have different chewing patterns," the Mail Online reports after a Korean study found men had "greater eating power" than women…

Child obesity rates are 'stabilising'

Friday Jan 30 2015

Child obesity rates are 'stabilising'

"The rise in childhood obesity … may be beginning to level off," BBC News reports. Researchers examined trends in child and adolescent rates of overweight and obesity using electronic GP records from 1994 to…

Brown fat may protect against diabetes and obesity

Monday Jan 26 2015

Brown fat may protect against diabetes and metabolic syndrome

“Fat can protect you against obesity and diabetes," the Mail Online reports. However, the small study it reports on was looking at brown fat, which is only found in small amounts in adults…

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