Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Obesity could 'rob you' of 20 years of health

Friday Dec 5 2014

Obesity could 'rob you' of 20 years of health

"Obesity knocks 20 years of good health off your life and can accelerate death by eight years," the Mail Online reports. A study has estimated very obese men aged 20 to 39, with a body mass index (BMI) of 35…

More breastfeeding 'would save NHS millions'

Friday Dec 5 2014

If more mums breastfed, it would save the NHS millions

"Increase in breastfeeding could save NHS £40m a year," The Independent reports after a recent economic modelling study projected a reduction in childhood diseases and breast cancer rates would lead to considerable savings for the health service…

Drug found to help repair spinal cord injuries

Thursday Dec 4 2014

New drug found to help repair spine injuries

"A drug that can encourage nerves in the spinal cord to grow and repair injuries has been developed by US scientists," BBC News reports. The drug, intracellular sigma peptide, helped restore varying degrees of nerve functions in previously disabled rats…

Nitrate-rich leafy greens 'good for the heart'

Thursday Dec 4 2014

Nitrate-rich leafy greens 'good for the heart'

“Leafy vegetables contain chemical nitrate that improves heart health,” the Mail Online reports. In a recent study, researchers looked at the effects of a nitrate-rich diet on rats…

Do time-restricted eating habits reduce obesity?

Thursday Dec 4 2014

Time-restricted eating habits may reduce obesity

“Want to lose weight? Eat all your food in an eight-hour time frame – and never snack at night,” reports the Mail Online. However, these tips are based on a mouse study – no humans were involved…

NICE recommends home births for some mums

Wednesday Dec 3 2014

NICE recommend homes births for some mums

"Home birth 'could be best for many mothers','' BBC News reports. New guidelines from NICE recommend home births or births at midwife-led centres for women with a low risk of pregnancy complications…

Weight loss surgery 'not a quick fix' for good health

Tuesday Dec 2 2014

Weight loss surgery 'not a quick fix' for good health

"Weight loss surgery isn't just a quick fix to becoming healthy – you have to exercise too," the Mail Online reports. Weight loss surgery, such as fitting a gastric band, usually results in significant weight loss…

HIV evolving into less deadly form

Tuesday Dec 2 2014

HIV evolving into less deadly form

“HIV is evolving to become less deadly and less infectious,” BBC News reports. A new study showed that HIV adapts to a person’s immune system, and that some of these adaptations may reduce the virulence of the virus…

Can a pill cure binge drinking and dementia?

Monday Dec 1 2014

Binge drinking and dementia drug cure claims

"'Wonder' drug could cure binge drinking, Alzheimer's and dementia," the Mail Online reports. But before you raise a glass or two, these are premature claims based on research in rats that has not yet been proven, or even tested, in people…

HIV drug may slow the spread of prostate cancer

Monday Dec 1 2014

It is hoped that the drug can help prevent prostate cancer spreading into the bones

“A drug used to treat HIV infection can slow the spread of prostate cancer, research has shown,” The Independent reports. The news centres on the drug maraviroc (Celsentri), which researchers have found may slow the spread of prostate cancer…

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

Your NHS Health Check

Millions of people have already had their free "midlife MOT". Find out why this health check-up is so important

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...