Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Replacing sugary drinks with water may reduce diabetes risk

Friday May 1 2015

Sugary drinks increases diabetes risk, while water can cut it

"Swapping orange squash for a cup of tea cuts diabetes risk," The Daily Telegraph reports. The news is based on a major UK study, involving around 25,000 adults...

Texting may help relieve pain during minor surgery

Friday May 1 2015

Texting may help relieve pain during minor surgery

"Need pain relief for surgery? Try a text," the Daily Mail reports. The advice was prompted by a small study that found people who used a mobile phone during minor surgery were less likely to require additional pain medication…

UK life expectancy expected to rise to late 80s by 2030

Thursday Apr 30 2015

UK life expectancy expected to rise to late 80s by 2030

"Life expectancy is rising faster than thought, with 90 expected to become the norm in some affluent areas of the country by 2030," The Guardian reports. The same predictions led the Daily Mail to warn of a "life expectancy timebomb"...

New prostate cancer treatment has promising results in mice

Thursday Apr 30 2015

New prostate cancer treatment has impressive results in mice

"Prostate cancer resistant to conventional treatment could be all but wiped out by a therapy that boosts the immune system," the Daily Mail reports. The therapy, as yet only used in mice, destroyed previously resistant cancerous cells…

Diet swap study highlights bowel effects of Western-style diet

Wednesday Apr 29 2015

Diet swap study highlights bowel effects of western-style diet

"Diet swap experiment reveals junk food's harm to guts," BBC News reports. African-American volunteers were asked to eat an African diet, while Africans were asked to eat a typical American diet, and the effects on the bowel were striking…

Bullying may have worse long-term effects than child abuse

Wednesday Apr 29 2015

Bullying may have worse long-term effects than child abuse

"Bullied children are five times more at risk of anxiety than those maltreated," reports the Daily Mail. A study looking at both UK and US children found an association between childhood bullying and anxiety, depression and self-harm in adulthood…

Brain’s 'hunger hub' could be switched off

Tuesday Apr 28 2015

Brain’s 'hunger hub' could be switched off

“Have scientists found a way to banish hunger pangs?,” the Mail Online asks. The question is prompted by research in mice looking at the “biological pathways” that regulate appetite and hunger…

No evidence organic milk in pregnancy lowers a baby's IQ

Tuesday Apr 28 2015

Could organic milk in pregnancy lower the baby's IQ?

"Pregnant women who switch to 'healthier' organic milk may be putting the brain development of their unborn babies at risk," The Guardian reports after researchers found…

Having a spine similar to a chimp could lead to back pain

Monday Apr 27 2015

Chimpanzee shaped spine could lead to back pain

"People with lower back problems are more likely to have a spine similar in shape to the chimpanzee," BBC News reports. Research suggests that humans with similar shaped vertebrae to chimps are more vulnerable to developing a slipped disc…

Parents 'may pass anxiety on to their children'

Monday Apr 27 2015

Children may 'learn' anxious behaviour from their parents

The Mail Online has given stressed-out parents one more thing to worry about, saying: "Anxiety is 'catching' and can be passed on to children", adding that, "Attitudes of over-anxious parents can severely affect children's behaviour"…

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

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...