Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Are ads for candy-flavoured e-cigs tempting teens to vape?

Monday Jan 18 2016

"Advertisements for … flavoured e-cigarettes could encourage children to try vaping," ITV News reports after a study found children shown these ads were more likely to express an interest in trying flavoured e-cigs…

NHS Health Checks 'prevented thousands of heart attacks'

Friday Jan 15 2016

"NHS Health Checks scheme hailed as 'remarkable success'," Pulse Magazine reports, while The Sun adds "GP quiz [is a] life saver". NHS Health Checks, introduced in 2009, are a kind of middle-aged health "MOT"…

Men at high risk of getting HIV 'need preventative treatment'

Thursday Jan 14 2016

"Giving healthy gay men HIV drugs 'could help reverse epidemic'," BBC News reports. A modelling study looking at the effects of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), where drugs are used to prevent infection…

A potato-rich diet before pregnancy could up diabetes risk

Wednesday Jan 13 2016

"Eating potatoes before pregnancy increases risk of diabetes," The Daily Telegraph reports. Researchers found a small, but significant, increase in gestational diabetes risk in mothers who ate a potato-rich diet before their pregnancy…

Exercise is 'most effective' method of preventing lower back pain

Wednesday Jan 13 2016

"Exercise is the best medicine to banish back pain and stop people taking sick days," reports the Daily Mirror. While this may be true, the research in question did not look at treatments for existing back pain…

Sugary drinks linked to increased fat levels around vital organs

Tuesday Jan 12 2016

"People who consume sugary drinks are more likely to develop dangerous fat that becomes wrapped around internal organs," the Daily Mail reports after a US study found a link between the consumption of sugary drinks and increased visceral fat levels…

Arthritis drug could also help combat ovarian cancer

Monday Jan 11 2016

"A rheumatoid arthritis drug can kill off ovarian cancer cells in women with the BRCA1 mutation," the Mail Online reports. The drug, auranofin, was found to be effective against ovarian cancer cells associated with the BRCA1 mutation…

Targeting inflammation 'could help treat Alzheimer's disease'

Friday Jan 8 2016

"Blocking brain inflammation 'halts Alzheimer's disease'," BBC News reports. Mice with symptoms similar to Alzheimer's disease were given a drug that blocked the production of immune cells, which cause inflammation…

New alcohol advice issued

Friday Jan 8 2016

New proposed guidelines on alcohol, drawn up by the Chief Medical Officers of the UK, have been published today. The expert group that produced the guidelines looked at the body of new evidence about the potential harms of alcohol…

'Remixed' skin cells could lead to new diabetes treatments

Thursday Jan 7 2016

"End of injections in sight for diabetics after new discovery," says The Daily Telegraph. If you think you've read a similar headline before, you may be right – replacing insulin injections for type 1 diabetes has been a goal for many years...

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%