Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Babies put into their own room at six months 'sleep longer'

Tuesday Jun 6 2017

"Babies moved into their own room at six months sleep better and are lower risk of obesity, poor sleep patterns and tantrums," reports The Sun. This is based on a US study looking at room-sharing…

TV in bedroom 'risk factor' for child obesity

Monday Jun 5 2017

"Children who have TVs in their bedrooms are more likely to be overweight than those who do not," BBC News reports. A UK study found a link between children having a TV in their room and an increased risk of obesity…

Link between stress in pregnancy and ADHD unfounded

Wednesday May 31 2017

"Stressed mothers-to-be face an increased risk of giving birth to a child who will develop ADHD or heart disease later in live," the Mail Online reports. However, the new study it is reporting on did not look at long-term outcomes in children…

Parents' phone addiction may lead to child behavioural problems

Wednesday May 31 2017

"Is our smartphone addiction damaging our children?," The Guardian asks, after publication of a recent study into "technoference" – when people switch their attention away from others to check their phone or tablet…

Hope for plant-based contraceptive, study claims

Tuesday May 16 2017

"Forget Plan B – try aloe vera, controversial study claims: Scientists insist pills made from dandelions and mangoes can prevent pregnancy without a hit of hormones," reports the Mail Online. The news is based on a study...

Concerns about alleged 'harmful' arsenic levels in baby rice cakes

Friday May 5 2017

"Almost half of baby rice food products contain illegal levels of inorganic arsenic despite new regulations set by the EU, according to researchers," ITV News reports…

Weak link between grandmums' smoking and autistic grandkids

Friday Apr 28 2017

"Smoking in pregnancy hurts your grandkids by 'increasing their risk of autism'," The Sun brashly reports. Researchers looked at data spanning multiple generations and reported a link between girls with autism…

Four cups of coffee 'not bad for health' suggests review

Tuesday Apr 25 2017

"Drinking up to four cups of coffee a day carries no health risk, experts say...Scientists said those who stick to that limit have no need to worry," reports the Sun. This was based on...

Children with regular bedtimes 'less likely to become obese'

Monday Apr 24 2017

"Regular bedtimes make children less likely to be obese as adults," is the slightly misleading Mail Online headline. This follows a study looking at the link between household routines in early childhood and obesity at age 11...

Touchscreen-using toddlers may sleep less

Tuesday Apr 18 2017

"'Touchscreen-toddlers' sleep less," BBC News reports. Results from a survey of UK parents suggest every hour a child spends using a touchscreen device was associated with an hour's less sleep a night…

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