Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Negative parenting linked with kids being bullied

Friday Apr 26 2013

Over-protective parents ups child’s bullying risk

“Children who have overprotective parents are more likely to be bullied by their peers,” BBC News explains. The news correctly presents the findings of a major study on the effects of parenting on a child’s risk of being bullied, but it focuses…

Can belief in God help with depression?

Friday Apr 26 2013

Can belief in God help with depression?

"Believing in God can help treat depression," the Mail Online website claims. But how much faith can we put in this story?...

Celebrity chefs can’t be blamed for obesity rates

Wednesday Apr 24 2013

Celeb cookbooks can’t be blamed for obesity rates

"TV chefs 'adding to obesity crisis by encouraging us to eat fatty dishes'," reports the Metro, with similar stories blaming celebrity chefs for our bulging waistlines in much of the media…

Even 'light' smoking may raise women's arthritis risk

Tuesday Apr 23 2013

Even light smoking doubles rheumatoid arthritis risk

"Smoking just a few cigarettes a day more than doubles a woman's risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis," the Mail Online website reveals. The website reports on a Swedish study that found women who smoke…

No proof found that depression is 'contagious'

Monday Apr 22 2013

Depression can be 'contagious' study claims

'Can you catch depression?', the Mail Online website asks on the strength of new US research into the concept of 'cognitive vulnerability'. Cognitive vulnerability is where unhelpful patterns of thinking can increase the risk of a person developing…

No evidence that kilts improve sperm quality

Friday Apr 19 2013

What Scots have under kilts still up for debate

"Men who wear kilts are more fertile – because their sperm are cooler," is the claim on the Mail Online website. This claim is based on an unusual study that seems to be an exploration of the joys of kilt wearing rather than a serious scientific...

No evidence that price of fame is early death

Thursday Apr 18 2013

No evidence that price of fame is early death

"Having a glittering career … may come at the cost of a shorter life," BBC News explains, reporting on a study that analysed 1,000 obituaries in The New York Times and found that on average, performers and sports stars died younger…

Is exercise to blame for Andrew Marr's stroke?

Monday Apr 15 2013

Is exercise to blame for Andrew Marr's stroke?

TV presenter and journalist Andrew Marr has given his first interview since experiencing a stroke. In the interview he blamed vigorous exercise for triggering it. But experts advise that exercise, if done in the right way, can reduce your stroke risk…

E-cigarette 'vapers' using them to quit smoking

Friday Apr 12 2013

E-cigarettes’ effectiveness remains uncertain

“Electronic cigarettes have helped almost nine out of ten smokers quit tobacco completely” the Metro reports. The claim is based on the results of an online survey on e-cigarette use and their effects on tobacco consumption…

Today's adults 'unhealthier than their parents' were

Thursday Apr 11 2013

Today’s adults are less healthy than previous generation

"Today's adults are so unhealthy they are 15 years 'older' than their parents and grandparents at the same age," reports The Daily Telegraph. This gloomy message is based on...

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...

Miracle Foods: myths and the media

Each day there's a new crop of possibly life-changing headlines about how food affects our health. Read our report on the health properties of food

Clinical trials and medical research

Clinical trials explained, including how to take part in one and why medical research is important

Video: clinical trials

In this video, find out about clinical trials, what they involve and who can take part in one.

Atlas of risk

NHS Atlas of Risk

Compare cause of death and health risks based on age, sex and where you live

Strength and Flex

Download our Strength and flexibility podcast series and get a free personal trainer