Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Can colic really be cured by acupuncture?

Tuesday Jan 17 2017

"Is sticking needles in babies really the best way to ease distress from colic?" the Daily Mail asks. The question was prompted by a study that looked at whether acupuncture can help with colic in babies…

Some babies should be given peanuts early say new US guidelines

Friday Jan 6 2017

"Babies should be given peanut early – some at four months old – in order to reduce the risk of allergy, according to new US guidance," BBC News reports. The guidelines are based on UK-led research that found early exposure reduced allergy risk…

Grandparents who babysit 'tend to live longer'

Tuesday Jan 3 2017

"Grandparents who babysit their grandchildren tend to live longer than seniors who do not care for other people, a study has found," the Mail Online reports. Researchers found grandparent babysitters had a 37% lower mortality risk…

Sugar tax would 'cut childhood obesity'

Friday Dec 16 2016

'Sugary drinks tax 'will benefit children most',' BBC News reports. A new study, where researchers tried to estimate the impact of a sugar tax on soft drinks, found that it would help combat child obesity as well as tooth decay...

MRI scans in pregnancy improve diagnosis of brain defects

Thursday Dec 15 2016

"Detailed MRI scans should be offered to some women in pregnancy to help spot brain defects in the developing baby, say researchers," BBC News reports. A UK study suggests combining an MRI scan with ultrasounds could prevent misdiagnosis…

Brain tests may predict children at risk of becoming 'social burdens'

Tuesday Dec 13 2016

"Brain tests predict children's futures," BBC News reports. A study found that childhood factors such as low IQ, parental neglect and poor self-control were strongly associated with "socially costly" outcomes in adulthood, including smoking and obesity…

Child 'more likely to use drugs if mum smoked when pregnant'

Thursday Dec 8 2016

"Children are more likely to use cannabis if their mother smoked while pregnant," the Mail Online reports. New research suggests smoking in pregnancy could affect the genes of the child, increasing their risk of substance abuse in later life…

Moderate exercise 'better for sperm' than high intensity exercise

Wednesday Dec 7 2016

"'Doing at least half an hour of exercise three times a week may boost men's sperm count'," BBC News reports. Researchers recruited 261 healthy married men who were randomly allocated to three different training programmes…

'No need to wait to try again after miscarriage' advice

Thursday Dec 1 2016

"Women who suffer a miscarriage should try for a baby again within six months, a major study has found," the Daily Mail reports. Current guidance from the World Health Organization recommends couples wait at least six months…

Lack of sleep may disrupt development of a child's brain

Tuesday Nov 29 2016

"New brain scans reveal sleep deprivation damages children's brains more than previously thought," the Mail Online reports. Researchers measured the brain activity of children whose sleep had been restricted by four…

What is Behind the Headlines?

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