Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Television and computer use 'linked to lower GCSE grades'

Friday Sep 4 2015

Researchers studied the effects of increased screen time on GCSE results

"Just one hour of TV or internet use each night can damage a child's GCSE chances," says the Mail Online. Worrying headlines like this are being widely reported in the UK media based on the results of a 10-year-old study...

Is shop-bought baby food 'too sweet'?

Thursday Sep 3 2015

Babies: not always this happy to be spoonfed

"Baby foods found too sweet to encourage variety of tastes in children," says The Guardian. The newspaper reports on a survey of how much...

'Antipsychotics used on people with no mental illness diagnosis'

Wednesday Sep 2 2015

Antipsychotic drugs

"'Chemical cosh' scandal: Thousands of patients with no history of mental illness needlessly given cocktail of antipsychotic drugs," says the Mail Online. The emotive words "needlessly" and "cocktail" are the Mail's imaginative inventions…

Does lack of sleep make you susceptible to common cold?

Tuesday Sep 1 2015

Using disposable tissues can help prevent spreading cold viruses

"Sleep longer to lower risk of catching cold," says The Daily Telegraph of research on how sleep duration and quality could affect your risk of catching a cold. In this small, research experiment...

Goth teens 'at increased risk of depression and self-harm'

Friday Aug 28 2015

Goth teens 'at increased risk of depression and self-harm'

"Goths are three times more likely to be depressed than other teenagers, with 37% admitting to self-harming," the Daily Mail reports. A new study looked at mental health outcomes in young people who said they identified with the goth sub-culture…

How having 'senior moments' may be a good thing

Thursday Aug 27 2015

How having 'senior moments' may be a good thing

"Senior moments? Only worry if you don't notice them," the Daily Mail reports. A new study suggests becoming unaware of failing memory could be a warning sign of impending dementia…

Low vitamin D levels linked to increased multiple sclerosis risk

Thursday Aug 27 2015

Low vitamin D levels linked to increased multiple sclerosis risk

"Lack of vitamin D may cause multiple sclerosis, study finds," reports the Guardian. A large study found people genetically programmed to have lower vitamin D levels are at an increased risk of multiple sclerosis (MS)…

Is incense smoke more dangerous than tobacco smoke?

Wednesday Aug 26 2015

Is incense smoke more dangerous than tobacco smoke?

"Incense may need a health warning over 'toxic' smoke, claims research," The Daily Telegraph reports. Analysis of incense smoke, used in both western and Asian religious ceremonies for possibly thousands of years, found it contains many chemicals...

Researchers 'a step closer' to universal flu vaccine

Tuesday Aug 25 2015

Researchers 'a step closer' to universal flu vaccine

"Universal flu vaccine comes closer, scientists says," BBC News reports after two independent teams of researchers each found ways to target multiple strains of the influenza virus – but, as yet, the research has only involved animals...

Many white English and Irish pensioners 'drinking to excess'

Monday Aug 24 2015

Many white English and Irish pensioners 'drinking to excess'

"One in five people over 65 who drink is consuming an "unsafe" level of alcohol, say researchers," BBC News reports. Their research found "unsafe drinking was far more common among the white British and Irish population"…

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

Miracle foods: myths and the media

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

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...

Sugar intake should be reduced

Sugar intake should be drastically reduced, says report

A new government report recommends no more than 5% of our calorie intake should come from 'free sugars'. The previous recommendation was 10%