Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Could a DNA test predict obesity risk in children?

Thursday Mar 27 2014

DNA test could assess obesity risk in children

"A DNA blood test can predict obesity levels in children as they grow up, scientists claim," the Metro reports. The test, which is based on measuring "switches" in DNA, may help identify children who would benefit from early intervention…

'Couch potato' lifestyle linked to bigger bums

Monday Mar 24 2014

Sitting down a lot may trigger new fat growth

"It's official: Sitting around really does give you a fat behind," the Mail Online reports. While this may seem logical, it should be pointed out that the study behind the headlines involved mice, not humans…

Should people with 'fat genes' avoid fried food?

Wednesday Mar 19 2014

Got fat genes? Avoid fried food, study advises

"Eating fried food is more likely to make you fat if you have 'obesity genes'," The Independent reports after a study in the BMJ suggested that those with a genetic predisposition towards obesity should avoid fried food…

Easy access to takeaways 'increases obesity risk'

Friday Mar 14 2014

Living and working near takeaways ups obesity risk

"Encountering too many takeaway outlets near our homes, workplaces and even on the daily commute to work could be increasing our risk of obesity," The Independent reports…

Obese 11-year-old girls 'get lower school grades'

Wednesday Mar 12 2014

Being a healthy weight at age 11 made little difference to later academic achievement

"Study links obesity in teenage girls with lower academic results," BBC News reports. Previous studies have reported that child and adolescent obesity has a wide variety of adverse consequences...

How seaweed could slow the obesity tidal wave

Monday Mar 3 2014

How seaweed could slow the obesity tidal wave

'Seaweed could be key to weight loss, study suggests' BBC News reports. Researchers at Newcastle have found that alginate, found in kelp, may help reduce the amount of fat that the body digests…

Caesareans linked to obesity in offspring

Thursday Feb 27 2014

C-sections linked to obesity in later life

"Babies born by caesarean section are more likely to be obese adults," the Daily Mail reports, after an analysis found a link between caesarean section and obesity in later life. However, a direct link between the two remains unproven…

Lingonberries claimed to prevent weight gain

Friday Jan 24 2014

Lingonberries claimed to prevent weight gain

“Lingonberries ‘could prevent weight gain’,” says The Daily Telegraph, reporting on the so-called “superberries” from Scandinavia. But before rushing to your local Swedish grocer, it’s worth noting that these tests were done on mice…

Central heating could be contributing to obesity

Thursday Jan 23 2014

Shivering burns up to five times the normal amount of energy

“Overheated homes and offices adding to weighty problem,” The Daily Telegraph reports. Dutch researchers have argued that the widespread use of central heating stops people’s bodies using up energy to stay warm…

Gastric balloon pill launched in UK

Wednesday Jan 22 2014

Gastric balloon pill launched in UK

Most of the UK media has got rather overexcited about the UK launch of Obalon, a gastric balloon in pill form that can be swallowed to help overweight people achieve rapid weight loss without invasive surgery...

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