Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Decreasing portion sizes could cut obesity levels

Wednesday Sep 16 2015

"Reducing the portion sizes … would help reverse the obesity epidemic, say researchers," BBC News reports. The researchers, who pooled the results of over 70 previous studies, found a link between portion size and overeating…

UK ban on trans fats 'would save thousands of lives'

Wednesday Sep 16 2015

"Trans fat ban could save 7,200 lives by 2020, says study," The Guardian reports. This is the conclusion of a new modelling study looking at whether banning trans fatty acids – associated with "bad" cholesterol and…

Aspirin lowers risk of hereditary bowel cancer in obese people

Tuesday Aug 18 2015

"A daily aspirin may slash bowel cancer risk for the obese," the Daily Mail reports. But the headline fails to make it clear that this latest research didn't involve people in the general public who were obese…

Low-fat diet 'better' than low-carb diet for getting rid of body fat

Friday Aug 14 2015

"Low-fat diets 'better than cutting carbs' for weight loss," says BBC News. But wait, the Mail Online says: "Low-carb 'is best for weight loss". Confused? Traditionally, weight-loss diets were based on the concept of eating a low-fat diet…

Study finds obese people may struggle to reach a healthy weight

Monday Jul 20 2015

“Obese men have just a '1 in 210' chance of attaining a healthy body weight,” The Independent reports. This was the findings of a study that looked at the body mass index (BMI) measurements of almost 300,000 people...

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…

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