Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Binge drinking could trigger abnormal heart rhythms

Thursday Apr 27 2017

"Why Oktoberfest could be damaging your heart" is the somewhat strange headline in The Times. Researchers who attended the annual Bavarian beer and folk festival found binge drinkers were more likely to have abnormal heart rhythm patterns…

New glaucoma test could save millions from blindness

Thursday Apr 27 2017

"It might be possible to treat the main cause of permanent blindness before people notice any loss of vision," BBC News report. A proof of concept study of early testing for glaucoma – the most common cause of sight loss – had promising results…

Regular exercise for the over-50s 'sharpens the mind'

Wednesday Apr 26 2017

"Doing moderate exercise several times a week is the best way to keep the mind sharp if you're over 50," BBC News reports. A review of existing data found both aerobic exercise and strength training appeared to improve cognitive functions…

Four cups of coffee 'not bad for health' suggests review

Tuesday Apr 25 2017

"Drinking up to four cups of coffee a day carries no health risk, experts say...Scientists said those who stick to that limit have no need to worry," reports the Sun. This was based on...

Children with regular bedtimes 'less likely to become obese'

Monday Apr 24 2017

"Regular bedtimes make children less likely to be obese as adults," is the slightly misleading Mail Online headline. This follows a study looking at the link between household routines in early childhood and obesity at age 11...

Reported link between diet drinks and dementia and stroke is weak

Friday Apr 21 2017

"Diet drinks triple your risk of stroke and dementia," the Daily Mail reports, as US research found a link between daily intake and increased risk. However, the chain of evidence is not as strong as reported…

Cycling commuters have lower rates of heart disease and cancer

Friday Apr 21 2017

"Want to live longer? Reduce your risk of cancer? And heart disease? Then cycle to work," BBC News advises, prompted by a new study that found UK commuters who cycled to work had lower rates of cancer and heart disease…

Two older drugs could be 'repurposed' to fight dementia

Thursday Apr 20 2017

"Depression and cancer drugs offer hope for dementia sufferers," Sky News reports. The headline is prompted by a study looking at the effect of two drugs – one used to treat depression and another being trialled for cancer treatment...

Frog slime could protect us against future flu epidemic

Wednesday Apr 19 2017

"'Potent' new molecule in frog slime may give us new way to beat flu epidemics, say boffins," The Sun reports. Researchers looked at secretions from the skin of a south Indian frog called Hydrophylax bahuvistara…

Touchscreen-using toddlers may sleep less

Tuesday Apr 18 2017

"'Touchscreen-toddlers' sleep less," BBC News reports. Results from a survey of UK parents suggest every hour a child spends using a touchscreen device was associated with an hour's less sleep a night…

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

You be the judge

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%