Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Could brain scans be used to screen for autism?

Friday Feb 17 2017

"Brain scans could identify babies most at risk of developing autism, study shows," The Guardian reports. Researchers think that looking for distinct changes in infant brains could identify some children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD)…

'Antibiotics, not surgery, best for child appendicitis' says study

Friday Feb 10 2017

"Operating on children with acute appendicitis may be unnecessary in many of cases, a landmark British study suggests," the Mail Online reports. The study suggests that infected or inflamed appendixes in children may be better treated using antibiotics…

Shift work and heavy lifting may make it harder to get pregnant

Wednesday Feb 8 2017

"Shift work and physically demanding jobs linked to lower fertility in women." Sky News reports. A US study found a link between both activities and a reduction in both the number and quality of a woman’s eggs…

Does eating liquorice in pregnancy raise the risk of ADHD?

Monday Feb 6 2017

"Avoid liquorice while pregnant: Scientists find one of its ingredients can affect a child's IQ, memory and even cause ADHD," the Mail Online reports. Researchers found eating liquorice in pregnancy is linked to a range of developmental issues…

Vitamin A deficiency linked to Alzheimer's disease

Friday Jan 27 2017

"Alzheimer's may begin in the womb because mums are short of crucial vitamin, scientists warn," the Daily Mirror reports. New research involving both mice and humans looked at the link between vitamin A…

Youngest children in class 'more likely to be given ADHD drugs'

Monday Jan 23 2017

"Youngest children in class more likely to get ADHD medication, study says," The Guardian reports. The results of an Australian study have caused concerns that, in some cases, immature behaviour may be misinterpreted as evidence of a behavioural disorder…

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...

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