Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Is 'Disney Princess culture' a bad influence on young girls?

Tuesday Jun 28 2016

"Disney princesses such as Elsa from Frozen can damage young girls' body esteem," the Daily Mail reports – inaccurately. The study the news comes from actually found a more complex pattern of influences on both girls and boys...

Children's plastic toys can 'harbour viruses for hours'

Monday Jun 27 2016

"Plastic toys 'can harbour nasty viruses for hours, raising risk of infection'," the Mail Online reports. New research suggests that enveloped viruses, which have a protective shell, may survive on toys for up to 24 hours...

Broccoli compounds may help combat chronic diseases

Friday Jun 24 2016

"Eating broccoli could lower your risk of having coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and several types of cancer, a new study suggests," the Daily Mail reports. But there is little hard evidence to back up...

Study suggests that inflammation is behind period pain

Thursday Jun 23 2016

"Scientists have finally discovered why periods hurt so much, following a ground breaking study into menstrual pain," The Independent reports. A new study suggests that the pain is caused by acute inflammation, as measured by the C-reactive protein...

Should we 'eat breakfast like a king and dinner like a pauper'?

Thursday Jun 23 2016

"We should 'eat breakfast like a king' to fight obesity, scientists claim," the Daily Mirror reports. The headline was prompted by a new review into "chrono-nutrition", which involves seeing if when we eat is as important as what we eat…

Diabetes drugs may be useful for Alzheimer's, mice research finds

Wednesday Jun 22 2016

"Drugs prescribed to treat diabetes could cure Alzheimer's disease" is the significantly over-hyped headline in The Daily Telegraph. What new research did find is that there seems to be shared biological processes between Alzheimer's and diabetes…

Drugs, ginger and acupuncture 'best for morning sickness'

Wednesday Jun 22 2016

"Hundreds of thousands of pregnant women with morning sickness should be given drugs to ease their symptoms," the Daily Mirror reports. The recommendation comes from a set of new guidelines that also say ginger…

Almost half of all UK adults may be living with chronic pain

Tuesday Jun 21 2016

"Almost half the adult population is living with chronic pain," the Daily Mail reports. A major new review suggests that around 28 million adults in the UK are affected by some type of chronic pain…

Cranberry juice 'useful' for women with recurring UTIs, claims study

Monday Jun 20 2016

"Drinking cranberry juice could reduce the worldwide use of antibiotics," is the somewhat optimistic headline in The Daily Telegraph. A new study found some modest preventative benefit in women with a history of reoccurring urinary tract infections…

Could 5:2 diet play a role in preventing breast cancer?

Friday Jun 17 2016

"Women who follow the 5:2 diet 'could reduce their risk of breast cancer','' the Mail Online reports. A small study found some women who followed the diet experienced breast cell changes thought to be protective against breast cancer. But the study…

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%