Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Majority of supermarket chickens carry food bug

Friday Nov 28 2014

Majority of supermarket chickens carry food bug

“More than 70% of fresh chickens being sold in the UK are contaminated,” BBC News reports. A Food Standards Agency investigation found worryingly high levels of contamination with the campylobacter bug, which can cause food poisoning…

Could depression be the result of a brain infection?

Friday Nov 28 2014

Is major depression actually a type of infection?

"Depression should be re-defined as an infectious disease … argues one scientist," the Mail Online reports. The news comes from an intriguing opinion piece by an American academic that argues symptoms such as hopelessness may be caused by…

Ebola vaccine shows promise in human trials

Thursday Nov 27 2014

Ebola vaccine shows promise in human trials

“Ebola vaccine trial results promising, says manufacturer,” The Guardian reports. Initial results from a trial involving 20 healthy adults found that the vaccine seems to be safe…

Ten point plan to tackle liver disease published

Thursday Nov 27 2014

Ten-point plan to tackle liver disease published

"Doctors call for tougher laws on alcohol abuse to tackle liver disease crisis," The Guardian reports. But this is just one of 10 recommendations for tackling the burden of liver disease published in a special report in The Lancet…

UK 'among worst' for cancer linked to obesity

Thursday Nov 27 2014

An overweight man doing the right thing: exercise

“Britain almost the worst in the world for obesity-fuelled cancer,” reports The Daily Telegraph. This and other headlines report on the outcome of an international study into the rate of obesity-related cancers...

Uneven or large breasts can cause teen angst

Wednesday Nov 26 2014

Uneven or large breasts can cause teen angst

"How your breast size affects your mental health: Having uneven or bigger boobs lowers self-esteem and causes eating disorders, study finds," reports the Mail Online...

Are silver surfers more health savvy?

Wednesday Nov 26 2014

Silver surfing may help older people to be more health savvy

"Older people who use the internet … may be better equipped to keep on top of their health," BBC News reports. A survey found regular internet use in older people was associated with good health literacy...

No proof 5:2 diet prevents cancer

Tuesday Nov 25 2014

No proof 5:2 diet prevents cancer

"Could 5:2 diet help to ward off cancer?" is the question posed by the Mail Online after the publication of a study into experimental diets. An honest and accurate answer to the question, based on the study, would be "we don't know"…

Can a yoghurt a day reduce diabetes risk?

Tuesday Nov 25 2014

A yoghurt a day may reduce diabetes risk

"Eating a small portion of yoghurt every day may reduce diabetes risk," The Independent reports. This news comes from a US study that assessed the eating habits of more than 100,000 people and then followed them up every four years, looking...

Vegetarian diet 'could have slight benefits in diabetes'

Monday Nov 24 2014

Vegetarian diet 'beneficial for diabetics'

"Vegetable diet will beat diabetes: Meat-free lifestyle cures killer disease," is the typically overblown headline in the Daily Express. But researchers actually found a vegetarian diet led to a quite modest fall in only one measure of blood glucose…

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...