Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Homer Simpson and Peppa Pig 'linked to childhood obesity'

Friday Jul 17 2015

"Peppa Pig and Homer Simpson could be fuelling the child obesity crisis by causing youngsters to eat more," The Daily Telegraph reports after a series of psychological experiments found a link between exposure to overweight characters…

Are teens confused about their size and weight?

Friday Jul 10 2015

"Third of overweight teenagers think they are right size, study shows," The Guardian says in one of many headlines on widely covered UK research...

Sugary drinks killing 'hundreds of thousands', study estimates

Tuesday Jun 30 2015

“Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year, says study,” The Independent reports. This is the alarming claim of researchers who created a model of sugary drink-related deaths based on global consumption rates…

Some health food brands may 'do more harm than good' claim

Thursday Jun 25 2015

"How so-called 'healthy' snacks could do more harm than good," the Mail Online reports, after a US study found that people who were presented with a food branded as healthy were then less likely to exercise as hard as people offered a normal food option…

Mushroom supplement could be one way to tackle obesity

Wednesday Jun 24 2015

"A mushroom used for centuries in Chinese medicine reduces weight gain in animals," BBC News reports. A supplement from the Ganoderma lucidum mushroom reduced weight gain by altering bacteria inside the digestive system of mice…

Drinking plenty of red wine won’t help you lose weight

Monday Jun 22 2015

Sorry to be party poopers but The Daily Telegraph’s headline "How to lose weight - drink plenty of red wine," is simply nonsense. The study it reports on did not involve red wine and was carried out on mice, not humans…

Weighing yourself every day may help with weight loss

Friday Jun 19 2015

"Stepping on the scales every day could be the key to weight loss, a study has found," the Mail Online reports. This report was based on a US study which suggested daily weighing can lead to a small, though sustainable, loss in weight...

Traffic and aircraft noise linked to bigger bellies

Tuesday May 26 2015

"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

"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

"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…

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 made about 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

Strength and Flex

Download our Strength and Flexibility podcast series and get a free personal trainer