Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Could watching action films make you fat?

Tuesday Sep 2 2014

Watching action films could be making you fat

“Couch potatoes captivated by fast-paced action films eat far more than those watching more sedate programmes,” The Independent reports. A small US study found that people snacked more when watching action-packed movies…

Brain can be ‘retrained’ to prefer healthy foods

Tuesday Sep 2 2014

Brains retrained to prefer healthier foods

“The brain can be trained to prefer healthy food over unhealthy high-calorie foods, using a diet which does not leave people hungry,” reports BBC News. It reports on a small pilot study involving 13 overweight and obese people…

Heart failure drug could 'cut deaths by a fifth'

Monday Sep 1 2014

Heart failure drug will 'cut deaths by a fifth'

“A new drug believed to cause a 20 per cent reduction in heart failure deaths could present a 'major advance' in treatment,” The Independent reports. The drug, LCZ696, helps improve blood flow in heart failure patients…

Students showing signs of phone addiction

Monday Sep 1 2014

Students showing signs of smartphone addiction

“Students spend up to 10 hours a day on their mobile phones,” the Mail Online reports. The results of a US study suggest that some young people have developed an addiction to their phone…

Study finds plain cigarette pack fears 'unfounded'

Friday Aug 29 2014

Plain packs don't lead to 'unintended consequences'

"Cigarette plain packaging fear campaign unfounded," reports The Guardian. After Australia introduced plain packaging laws in 2012, opponents of the legislation argued it would lead to a number of unintended consequences…

Claims magnetic brain stimulation helps memory

Friday Aug 29 2014

Claims magnetic brain stimulation helps memory

“Magnetic brain stimulation treatment shown to boost memory,” The Guardian reports. A new study found that magnetic pulses improved recall skills in healthy individuals. It is hoped that the findings of this study…

Tomato rich diet 'reduces prostate cancer risk'

Thursday Aug 28 2014

Tomato rich diet reduces prostate cancer risk

“Tomatoes ‘cut risk of prostate cancer by 20%’,” the Daily Mail reports, citing a study that found men who ate 10 or more portions a week had a reduced risk of the disease. The study in question gathered a year’s dietary information…

Depression therapy aids other cancer symptoms

Thursday Aug 28 2014

Depression therapy aids other cancer symptoms

"Depression therapy could help cancer patients fight illness," reports The Daily Telegraph. A UK study surveying people with cancer and depression has found that depression therapy can alleviate cancer-related symptoms...

Does weight loss surgery affect dementia risk?

Wednesday Aug 27 2014

Weight loss surgery 'may protect against Alzheimer's'

"Weight loss surgery 'reduces chance of Alzheimer's disease'," reports The Daily Telegraph. This misleading headline reports on a small Brazilian study of severely obese women before and after weight loss surgery. None of the women had any signs…

Antidepressant use in pregnancy linked to ADHD

Wednesday Aug 27 2014

Antidepressant use in pregnancy linked to ADHD

'Pregnant women who take anti-depressants 'could raise their child's risk of ADHD’' the Daily Mail reports. Researchers found that women who used the drugs in pregnancy had an increase risk of having a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder…

Miracle cure or scam?

Will an online miracle cure really provide the answer to your health problem?

Health anxiety (hypochondria)

Most of us worry about our health from time to time. But for some people, this worry never goes away and becomes a problem in itself

Stem cell research in the news

Stem cells are often portrayed in the media as a miracle cure for many serious conditions and disabilities. We analyse the facts behind these stories

Miracle Foods: myths and the media

Can a curry save your life? Read our report on the supposed health benefits of common foods

Video: the placebo effect

Watch Ben Goldacre explain what the placebo effect is and describes its role in medical research and in the pharmaceutical industry

Your NHS Health Check

Millions of people have already had their free "midlife MOT". Find out why this health check-up is so important

How to read health news

How to read health news

Fact or fiction? Killer or cure? We show you how to look Behind the Headlines.

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...