Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Over two hours screen time a day may raise a child’s blood pressure

Thursday Feb 26 2015

Over two hours screen time a day ups a child’s blood pressure

"Watching TV for more than two hours a day increases the risk of raised blood pressure in children," The Daily Telegraph reports. A large study, involving more than 5,000 children who were followed up over two years…

Peanut butter for non-allergic babies may reduce later allergies

Tuesday Feb 24 2015

Peanuts can be a choking hazard for young children

"The cure for peanut allergy – peanuts, from the age of four months," says The Guardian. This is bad advice...

Impact of daytime naps on children's sleep quality uncertain

Wednesday Feb 18 2015

Impact of daytime naps on toddlers’ sleep quality uncertain

“Daytime naps ‘should stop at the age of two’: Children have poorer quality sleep if they rest during the afternoon,” is the inaccurate headline on the Mail Online…

Obesity damage to eggs may be reversible

Wednesday Feb 11 2015

Obesity damages women’s eggs, effect may be reversible

"Damaging effect of obesity on a woman’s eggs can now be reversed," is the misleading headline from the Mail Online today. The over-egged headline refers to a mouse, not human, study looking at obesity and fertility…

Teen screen time linked to less sleep

Tuesday Feb 3 2015

Teen screen time linked to poorer sleep

"Teenagers sleep less when they have more computer screen time says study," The Guardian reports. A Norwegian study found an association between the use of any type of electronic screen device in the evening and disrupted sleep patterns…

Child obesity rates are 'stabilising'

Friday Jan 30 2015

Child obesity rates are 'stabilising'

"The rise in childhood obesity … may be beginning to level off," BBC News reports. Researchers examined trends in child and adolescent rates of overweight and obesity using electronic GP records from 1994 to…

Thousands of UK women could benefit from 'three-person' IVF

Thursday Jan 29 2015

Thousands of UK women could benefit from 'three-person' IVF

"Thousands of women could benefit from 'three-parent' baby technique," The Independent reports. A modelling study estimated the technique, which is currently illegal, could be used for thousands of women with genes linked…

Sugary soft drinks linked to earlier periods in girls

Wednesday Jan 28 2015

Sugary soft drinks linked to earlier periods in girls

"Sugary drinks may cause menstruation to start earlier, study suggests," The Guardian reports. A US study found that girls drinking more than one and a half drinks a day had their period around three months earlier than girls drinking two or less a week…

Gift vouchers can help pregnant smokers quit

Wednesday Jan 28 2015

Gift vouchers can help pregnant smokers quit

"Offering shopping vouchers worth a total of £400 to pregnant smokers makes them more likely to quit the habit, say researchers," BBC News reports...

Claims that 'men worsen labour pains' are unproven

Thursday Jan 22 2015

Claims that its 'official' men worsen labour pains are unproven

"It’s official: men really shouldn’t be at the birth," is the bizarre headline in The Times, as it reports on a pain study on women who were not even pregnant, let alone giving birth…

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 of 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

Atlas of risk

NHS Atlas of Risk

Compare cause of death and health risks based on age, sex and where you live

Strength and Flex

Download our Strength and flexibility podcast series and get a free personal trainer