Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Nose balloon could be used to treat glue ear

Tuesday Jul 28 2015

How a nose balloon could help treat glue ear

"Using the nose to inflate a balloon helps heal glue ear," BBC News reports. The technique, known as autoinflation, was found to be effective in around half of cases of this common childhood ear condition…

Unhealthy thinking about body and weight 'can start in childhood'

Thursday Jul 23 2015

Unhealthy thinking about body and weight 'can start in childhood'

"Basis for eating disorders found in children as young as eight," The Guardian reports. A new UK survey of around 6,000 children found the roots of unhealthy thinking about body and weight can predate adolescence…

Sugar intake should be drastically reduced says report

Friday Jul 17 2015

Sugar intake should be cut by half, report recommends

"Sugar intake 'should be halved'," BBC News reports. The headline is prompted by a government report that recommends no more than 5% of our calorie intake should come from "free sugars". The previous recommendation was 10%...

Homer Simpson and Peppa Pig 'linked to childhood obesity'

Friday Jul 17 2015

Is there a link between Peppa Pig and children overeating?

"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…

Reports that 1 pregnant woman in 3 in UK binge drink unconfirmed

Tuesday Jul 7 2015

Reports that 1 in 3 of UK pregnant women binge drink unconfirmed

"A third of British women risk doing severe harm to their unborn babies by binge drinking during pregnancy," the Mail Online reports. While a concerning statistic, the evidence behind the headline is perhaps not as clear-cut…

Report warns of threat to unborn babies from CMV virus

Tuesday Jun 30 2015

Report warns of threat to unborn babies from 'stealth virus' CMV

"Thousands of pregnant women are unwittingly passing on infections to their unborn babies that cause severe disabilities," is the headline in the Daily Mail after a new report highlighted the risks cytomegalovirus (CMV) can pose to pregnancies…

Women with history of stillbirth at 'high risk of another'

Friday Jun 26 2015

Women with history of stillbirth at 'high risk for another'

“Women who suffer stillbirths are four times more likely to suffer the tragedy again,” the Daily Mirror reports. Researchers warn that women with a history of stillbirth should be regarded as being at high risk of another...

Meningitis B vaccine 'available from September'

Monday Jun 22 2015

Meningitis B vaccine 'available from September'

"All newborn babies in England and Scotland are to be offered a vaccine to combat meningitis B from September," BBC News reports. This will be the world’s first publicly funded vaccination programme for the potentially fatal disease…

Too soon to say if breastfeeding problems could be genetic

Thursday Jun 18 2015

Too soon to say if breastfeeding problems could be genetic

"Is your inability to breastfeed written in your genes?" the Mail Online asks. The question is prompted by animal research that discovered that a genetic mutation in a protein called ZnT2 that may restrict milk production after pregnancy…

Does owning a cat put your family at risk of schizophrenia?

Monday Jun 15 2015

Does owning a cat put your family at risk of schizophrenia?

“Scientists have discovered a link between people who own cats and the development of mental illnesses, including schizophrenia, and believe a parasite may be to blame,” The Independent reports…

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...

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