Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

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…

Nordic IVF outcomes improving - is the same true for the UK?

Wednesday Jan 21 2015

Scandinavian IVF outcomes improving - same true for UK?

"The health of artificially conceived children has steadily improved in the last 20 years," The Guardian reports. Researchers who analysed data from Nordic countries described the decline in premature and stillbirths as "remarkable"…

Napping 'key' to babies' memory and learning

Tuesday Jan 13 2015

Naps 'key' to infant learning and memory

"The key to learning and memory in early life is a lengthy nap, say scientists," BBC News reports. The scientists were interested in babies' abilities to remember activities and events. They carried out a study…

How 'baby talk' may give infants a cognitive boost

Friday Jan 9 2015

How 'baby talk' gives infants a cognitive boost

"Say 'mama'! Talking to babies boosts their ability to make friends and learn," the Mail Online reports. In a review, two American psychologists argue that even very young infants respond to speech, and that "baby talk" is essential for their development…

Fathers-to-be experience hormone changes

Wednesday Dec 17 2014

Fathers-to-be experience hormone changes

“Men suffer pregnancy symptoms too: Fluctuating hormones make fathers-to-be … more caring,” the Mail Online reports. A small US study found evidence of changes in hormonal levels that may make fathers-to-be more able…

Around 1 in 10 maternal deaths due to flu

Tuesday Dec 9 2014

Around 1 in 10 maternal deaths caused by flu

“Nearly one in ten pregnant deaths caused by flu,” The Daily Telegraph reports. A review into maternal deaths, which thankfully remain rare, found that conditions such as the flu and sepsis account for many of the deaths...

More breastfeeding 'would save NHS millions'

Friday Dec 5 2014

If more mums breastfed, it would save the NHS millions

"Increase in breastfeeding could save NHS £40m a year," The Independent reports after a recent economic modelling study projected a reduction in childhood diseases and breast cancer rates would lead to considerable savings for the health service…

NICE recommends home births for some mums

Wednesday Dec 3 2014

NICE recommend homes births for some mums

"Home birth 'could be best for many mothers','' BBC News reports. New guidelines from NICE recommend home births or births at midwife-led centres for women with a low risk of pregnancy complications…

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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