Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Benefits of artificial sweeteners unclear

Wednesday Jul 19 2017

"Artificial sweeteners linked to risk of weight gain," the Daily Mirror reports. Researchers looking at data gathered in previous studies reported a link between artificial sweeteners – ironically often associated with diet drinks – and weight gain...

House dust linked to obesity – but only in mice

Friday Jul 14 2017

"Bad news for those who hate cleaning: dusty homes could make you obese," reports the Mail Online. Scientists in the US tested extracts of household dust on mouse "pre-fat" cells grown in a laboratory...

Overweight teen boys have increased risk of stroke in later life

Thursday Jun 29 2017

"Boys who get fat in their teenage years are much more likely to suffer a life-threatening stroke as an adult, experts today warned," The Sun reports. Swedish researchers suspect the association could be down to the effects of...

Obese mums more likely to give birth to babies with birth defects

Thursday Jun 15 2017

"Women who are obese when they conceive are more likely to have a baby with serious birth defects," The Guardian reports. Swedish researchers looked at more than a million health records and found a link between excess body mass index (BMI)…

Vegetarian dieting may lead to greater weight loss

Thursday Jun 15 2017

"Dieters who follow a vegetarian eating plan lose nearly twice as much weight," the Daily Mail reports following the results of a new study. Researchers randomly assigned two groups of people with type 2 diabetes to…

Being overweight, not just obese, still carries serious health risks

Tuesday Jun 13 2017

"Four million people died in 2015 as a result of being too tubby, struck by cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other killer conditions," reports The Sun. This is based on a global study that looked at how the proportion of people who…

TV in bedroom 'risk factor' for child obesity

Monday Jun 5 2017

"Children who have TVs in their bedrooms are more likely to be overweight than those who do not," BBC News reports. A UK study found a link between children having a TV in their room and an increased risk of obesity…

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...

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We give you the facts without the fiction. Professor Sir Muir Gray, founder of Behind the Headlines, explains more...

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