Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Sugar levels in children's fruit juices 'unacceptably high'

Tuesday Mar 29 2016

"Fruit juices and smoothies contain 'unacceptably high' levels of sugar," reports The Guardian. That was the stark conclusion of a new study looking at the sugar content of fruit juices and smoothies marketed at kids in the UK…

Common antibiotic for children 'ineffective in half of cases'

Wednesday Mar 16 2016

"Antibiotics used to treat common infections in children could soon be rendered useless," the Daily Mail reports. A major review of existing data found worryingly high levels of resistance to widely used antibiotics such as ampicillin…

Stem cells used to repair children's eyes after cataracts

Thursday Mar 10 2016

"Children with cataracts regain sight after radical stem cell treatment," The Guardian reports. The new operation, carried out on 12 children under two years old in China, was to treat childhood cataracts…

Early exposure to peanuts 'cuts allergy risk in children'

Monday Mar 7 2016

"The effects of eating peanut products as a baby to avoid the risk of allergy have been backed up by new research," BBC News reports. A new study suggests eating peanut snacks in the first year of life reduces the risk of a nut allergy in children…

Half of all childhood asthma cases are 'overdiagnosed'

Friday Feb 26 2016

"Half a million children who have been diagnosed with asthma may not actually have the condition," The Daily Telegraph reports. This is the finding of a Dutch study…

'Vaginal seeding' may put newborns at risk of infection

Wednesday Feb 24 2016

"'Vaginal seeding' of babies born by C-section could pose infection risk," The Guardian reports. The practice of exposing babies born by caesarean section to their mother's vaginal fluid in an effort to boost their immunity…

Daily diet of almonds is no magic solution for weight loss

Wednesday Feb 24 2016

"Desperate to lose weight?" asks the Mail Online. "Eat almonds! Handful a day 'wards off hunger and replaces empty calories from junk food'," it says, entirely without any justification, as the study it reports on didn't look at weight…

Mobile phone use 'linked to poor sperm quality'

Monday Feb 22 2016

"Men who talk on their mobile phones for an hour a day 'are twice as likely to have low sperm quality'," the Daily Mail reports. Is the use of smartphones damaging men's sperm? The quick answer, based on the results of this study, is we don't know...

Evidence of link between Zika virus and birth defect 'boosted'

Thursday Feb 18 2016

"Brazilian study boosts theory that Zika causes birth defect," The Guardian reports. Researchers have detected the virus in amniotic fluid surrounding two unborn babies known to have abnormally small heads (microcephaly)…

Paracetamol use in pregnancy and infancy linked to child asthma

Wednesday Feb 10 2016

"Babies given paracetamol are nearly a third more likely to develop asthma," the Mail Online reports. The study the news is based on also found a link between maternal use of the painkiller in pregnancy, and childhood asthma…

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