Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Western sperm counts 'halved' in last 40 years

Wednesday Jul 26 2017

"Sperm counts among Western men have halved in last 40 years," The Guardian reports. A major review of research carried out since 1973 found an estimated 50-60% drop in sperm count in developed nations...

'Buying time' and not just things may increase life satisfaction

Tuesday Jul 25 2017

"Using money to free-up time is linked to increased happiness," BBC News reports. Researchers surveyed people from a number of developed countries and found those who reported using money to free up time…

Snoring link to Alzheimer’s disease unproven

Monday Jul 24 2017

"Snoring linked to Alzheimer's," the Mail Online reports. A US study reported an association between sleep-disorder breathing and Alzheimer's disease in later life. But no definitive link between the two has been proven...

Could cows be the clue that leads to an HIV vaccine?

Friday Jul 21 2017

"Cows have shown an 'insane' and 'mind-blowing' ability to tackle HIV which will help develop a vaccine, say US researchers," BBC News reports. The report is based on new research in cows that were immunised against HIV…

Nine lifestyle changes may reduce risk of dementia

Thursday Jul 20 2017

"Nine lifestyle changes can reduce dementia risk," BBC News reports. A major review by The Lancet has identified nine potentially modifiable risk factors linked to dementia…

High-dose vitamin D 'doesn't prevent colds and flu in kids'

Wednesday Jul 19 2017

"Vitamin D will not protect your child from a cold: myth-busting study says 'more isn't always better' to help toddlers stay healthy," says the Mail Online. The story is based on a study that looked at…

Benefits of artificial sweeteners unclear

Wednesday Jul 19 2017

"Artificial sweeteners linked to risk of weight gain," the Daily Mirror reports. Researchers looking at data gathered in previous studies reported a link between artificial sweeteners – ironically often associated with diet drinks – and weight gain...

Some types of vegetarian diet can raise heart disease risk

Tuesday Jul 18 2017

"Being vegetarian isn't always healthy: Plant-based diet may raise the risk of heart disease," the Daily Mail reports. A US study found a vegetarian diet based on less healthy food options, such as refined grains, could increase the risk of heart disease…

'Regular sex keeps you younger' claims are unsupported

Monday Jul 17 2017

"Scientists have found you can hold back the hands of time with a regular romp," is the typically colourful headline in The Sun. While a healthy sex life may be a good thing, the research in question isn't exactly mind blowing…

Long working week 'may increase risk of irregular heartbeat'

Friday Jul 14 2017

"Long working days can cause heart problems, study says," The Guardian reports. Researchers found people who work 55 or more hours a week had an increased risk of developing a type of irregular heartbeat…

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%