Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Pregnant binge drinking 'affects child's behaviour'

Monday Jan 27 2014

Alcohol in pregnancy linked to bad behaviour

“One binge in pregnancy ‘harms child years later’: Children ‘more likely to be badly behaved’ if their mother drinks more than two glasses of wine,” reports the Mail Online. Obviously, binge drinking in pregnancy is never going to be good for the baby…

Are home births 'unethical' and 'dangerous'?

Thursday Jan 23 2014

Home births may be unethical editorial argues

“Home births could be as dangerous as ‘driving without putting your child's seatbelt on’,” The Independent reports. The headline is based on a recently published narrative review that looked at home births and future risk…

Could 'family-style meals' beat childhood obesity?

Wednesday Jan 15 2014

Confused reporting on child-care meal study

“Families who serve dinner at the table have slimmer children,” is the entirely unsupported claim from the Mail Online today. The website appears to have taken a leap of imagination by pinning this headline on research which did not…

Risks of infertility treatments 'overhyped'

Thursday Jan 9 2014

Risks of infertility treatments overhyped

“IVF births carry five times risk of complications,” the Daily Mail reports. While this headline is essentially true, it is a classic example of a “relative risk” which sounds frightening out of context…

Spoon-feeding link to child obesity 'not proven'

Wednesday Jan 8 2014

Spoon-fed babies 'more likely to be fat' claims

"Spoon-fed babies more likely to be overweight," reports The Independent. The study the news comes from found an association between feeding techniques and weight gain, although many other factors may also be involved…

Vit D in pregnancy may help child muscle strength

Monday Jan 6 2014

Vit D in pregnancy may be baby muscle booster

"Higher levels of maternal vitamin D during pregnancy have been linked to better muscle development in children," BBC News reports. The headline is prompted by a UK study involving more than 600 mothers and their children. It found that...

Study tracks health effects of fracking chemicals

Wednesday Dec 18 2013

Fracking is controversial, but could it be bad for your health?

"Chemicals used in fracking could cause infertility, cancer and birth defects," the Daily Mail has reported. The story comes from a study that examined whether 12 of the chemicals used in "fracking"...

Women's views on NHS maternity care published

Friday Dec 13 2013

The CQC has exposed problems with maternity services

"Thousands suffer 'frightening' births in failing NHS care," The Daily Telegraph reports, alongside headlines in the Daily Mail and BBC News website about "Worry as women left alone in labour"...

Dad’s diet may impact on offspring’s future health

Wednesday Dec 11 2013

Dad’s diet may impact on offspring’s gene health

“Dad's diet before conception plays crucial role in long-term health of offspring,” reports the Mail Online, recommending that prospective dads “stick to greens and avoid junk…

Number of teen mothers falls by 8% in a year

Friday Dec 6 2013

The number of teenage pregnancies in England is falling

BBC News and the Metro both covered new official statistics on births in England between April 2012 and March 2013. The detailed data, on all births in NHS hospitals in England during the last year, showed deliveries for teenage mothers...

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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