Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Weight gain between pregnancies linked to stillbirth

Thursday Dec 3 2015

"Maternal weight gain raises stillbirth risk", reports The Guardian, and other media outlets. A large study in Sweden found women whose weight increased by more than two BMI units (about 6kg for a woman who is 1.67m tall) between...

One diet 'doesn’t fit all' – people 'metabolise food differently'

Friday Nov 20 2015

"No one diet fits all," the Daily Mail reports. Israeli researchers monitored 800 adults to measure what is known as postprandial glycemic response – the amount by which blood sugar levels increase after a person eats a meal…

Normal BMI with a big belly 'deadlier than obesity'

Tuesday Nov 10 2015

"Slim adults with a 'spare tyre' of fat around their stomach have a twice as high mortality risk than those who are overweight," The Daily Telegraph reports. A major new study tracked more than 15,000…

Is a brisk walk better for losing weight than going to the gym?

Wednesday Nov 4 2015

"A brisk 30-minute walk five days a week is more effective than any other form of exercise for keeping weight down," The Times reports. That is the reported conclusion of two researchers who looked at data from the…

'Greedy gene' that stops some people from feeling full discovered

Monday Nov 2 2015

"A single gene mutation may be all it takes to determine if a person is prone to becoming obese," the Mail Online reports. A particular genetic variant may disrupt the normal workings of a protein…

Low-fat diets 'not the best way to lose weight'

Friday Oct 30 2015

"Low-fat diets are not the best way to lose weight," the Daily Mail reports. The findings come from a new review that analysed data from more than 50 previous studies on low-fat dietary interventions involving almost 70,000 adults…

Controversial 'sugar tax' report is finally published

Friday Oct 23 2015

"A sugar tax of up to 20 per cent is need[ed] on fizzy drinks and fattening snacks," the Daily Mail reports. It is one of eight recommendations from Public Health England designed to tackle the UK's love affair with the sweet stuff…

Weight loss surgery linked to increased self-harm risk

Thursday Oct 8 2015

"Gastric band surgery to lose weight may drive people to suicide and increase their risk of self harm," the Mail Online reports. A new study found a small, though significant, increase in the incidence of self-harm and suicide in people after surgery…

Olive oil and wholegrains 'lower heart disease risk'

Tuesday Sep 29 2015

“Butter isn’t better than margarine after all,” declares the Mail Online, after a new study finds that reducing saturated fat does indeed lower the risk of heart disease...

Fidgeting probably not a useful alternative to proper exercise

Thursday Sep 24 2015

"Fidgeting 'offsets unhealthy effects of sitting for long periods and may help you live longer'," the Daily Mirror reports. A new study reported fidgeting may help make up for the harmful effects of most people's sedentary lifestyles…

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