Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Could statins treat common cause of vision loss?

Friday Feb 5 2016

"Statins could be miracle cure for blindness," reports the Express, following a new study into dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), one of the leading causes of blindness in adults...

Smoking bans linked to fewer heart attacks and strokes

Thursday Feb 4 2016

The ban on smoking indoors in public places “has helped save the lives of passive smokers,” says the Daily Mail. The headline refers to a review of the effects of smoking bans, which found fewer admissions to hospitals...

Just one hour of sitting down may increase diabetes risk by a fifth

Wednesday Feb 3 2016

"Every extra hour sitting down can raise your risk of type 2 diabetes by a fifth," the Daily Mirror reports. The paper reports on a study that looked at the effects of sedentary behaviour on type 2 diabetes risk…

Weight loss in middle age: A warning sign of dementia?

Wednesday Feb 3 2016

"How losing weight in middle age 'could be a sign of dementia'," the Daily Mail reports. A US study suggests there is an association between middle-age weight change and risk of mild cognitive impairment – which can be an early sign of dementia…

UK regulators give go-ahead for 'embryo editing'

Tuesday Feb 2 2016

"UK scientists have been given the go-ahead by the fertility regulator to genetically modify human embryos," BBC News reports. The UK body that regulates research into embryos…

Young women with high-fibre diet may have lower breast cancer risk

Tuesday Feb 2 2016

"Teenage girls who get their five-a-day cut breast cancer risk by up to 25 per cent," the Daily Mirror reports. A US study suggests that a high-fibre diet based on eating plenty of fruit and vegetables reduces the risk of breast cancer in later life…

Proton beam therapy 'effective' and 'causes fewer side effects'

Monday Feb 1 2016

"Proton beam cancer therapy 'effective with fewer side effects'," BBC News reports. A US study found the technique caused fewer side effects than conventional radiotherapy…

Zika virus: your questions answered

Friday Jan 29 2016

The World Health Organization reports that the Zika virus has now spread through both South and Central America and expects three to four million people to be infected in 2016. So what is the Zika virus and what steps can you take to protect yourself?

High-flavonoid foods, like berries and apples, 'prevent weight gain'

Friday Jan 29 2016

"Get fruity to get fit: Eat more berries to beat a big belly," The Sun reports. The advice is based on the findings of a major new study looking at the effects of foods rich in the compound flavonoid, such as berries and apples, on body weight…

Antidepressants linked to suicide and aggression in teens

Thursday Jan 28 2016

"Antidepressant use doubles the risk of suicide in under 18s and the risks to adults may have been seriously underestimated," The Daily Telegraph reports. A review of patient reports compiled by drug companies suggests risks may have been under-reported…

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%