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?...

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…

Don't take paracetamol for emotional pain

Monday Apr 22 2013

Don't take paracetamol for painful emotions

"Popping paracetamol could also help treat EMOTIONAL pain," is the surprising suggestion on the Mail Online website. In this study, "emotional pain", also referred to as "existential dread", was taken to be distress experienced...

Does tough love work?

Friday Apr 19 2013

Smacking does 'no harm' if done in 'loving context'

"Smacking does children no harm if they feel loved, study claims," The Daily Telegraph reports. The study in question was looking at the experiences of Mexican-American teenagers and how they reacted to physical punishment…

Community treatment orders 'don't reduce psychiatric readmissions'

Thursday Apr 18 2013

Community treatment orders 'don't cut psychiatric re-admissions'

"'Psychiatric Asbos' were an error says key advisor," The Independent reports. The news comes from new research examining the effectiveness of community treatment orders (CTOs), a legal measure that allows mental health teams...

Study examines penis size and male attractiveness

Tuesday Apr 9 2013

Penis size 'does matter' researcher claims

‘[Penis] Size does matter, study finds', The Daily Telegraph reports with almost identical headlines in the Daily Mail and The Independent. The news is based on a study in which researchers asked a small group of women…

Is mental health harmed by earlier emotional stress?

Thursday Apr 4 2013

Is mental health harmed by earlier emotional stress?

"Daily stresses take toll on long-term mental health," The Daily Telegraph reports. It goes on to say, "that little row with your spouse or stress of finding yourself stuck in a traffic jam may be taking a heavier toll on your mental health...

New guidelines on child antisocial behaviour

Wednesday Mar 27 2013

New guidelines on child antisocial behaviour

BBC News is reporting that there is a new ‘Guide to help parents to spot 'problem behaviour’’, while The Daily Telegraph claims that ‘More than one million parents could be offered state-funded lessons…

Do TV and video games really make kids naughty?

Tuesday Mar 26 2013

Do TV and video games really make kids naughty?

“Watching TV for three hours a day will not harm your children”, The Independent reports. However, The Daily Express contradicts this, saying “Too much television turns children into monsters”. In this case…

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