Behind the Headlines

Behind the Headlines, a service provided by the NHS, offers an unbiased and evidence-based analysis of health stories that make the news. Click here to read more about Behind the Headlines.


'Sit less, move more' may be key advice for living longer

22 August 2019

"Older adults can boost longevity 'with just a little exercise'," reports The Guardian. It's long been known that being more physically active is linked to being healthy and living longer. Now researchers who re-examined data from 8 studies, which included 36,383 people aged over 40, say the benefits are greater than previously thought, and that any intensity of activity helps.

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Air pollution link with mental health problems

21 August 2019

"Growing up in air-polluted areas linked to mental health issues," reports The Guardian.

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No proof that a mother's intake of fluoride in pregnancy affects their child's IQ

20 August 2019

"Pregnant women who drink fluoride-treated water may have children with lower IQs," the Mail Online reports.

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Does gluten in children's diets raise the risk of coeliac disease?

15 August 2019

"Too much wheat and gluten in early stages of infancy raises risk of coeliac disease in children at risk of the condition," reports the Mail Online. Researchers looked at the diets of 6,605 children from Sweden, Finland, Germany and the US, all of whom had genetic variants that put them at higher risk of developing autoimmune conditions like coeliac disease, where the immune system starts to attack the body's own tissues.

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Social media use in teens linked to cyberbullying and less sleep and exercise

14 August 2019

"Facebook and Instagram are damaging children's mental health," reports the Sun as a new study suggests there's a link between frequent social media use and poor mental health and wellbeing in teens. Researchers analysed data from 12,866 young people aged 13 to 16 in England.

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Promising initial results raise hopes for chlamydia vaccine

13 August 2019

"A vaccine to protect against chlamydia has moved closer to becoming reality after a pioneering clinical trial found the treatment to be safe," The Guardian reports. Chlamydia is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infections (STI).

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Fast food restaurants on commuter routes 'contributing' to obesity

08 August 2019

"Fast-food outlets on commuter routes may fuel obesity crisis," reports The Guardian.

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Hormone cocktail treatment 'could be alternative to weight-loss surgery'

07 August 2019

"Miracle Flab Jab - A NEW weight-loss jab could help overweight patients shed 10lbs in just four weeks," The Sun reports.

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'Fussy eating' in children 'increases risk of eating disorders' – but increase is very low

06 August 2019

"Children who overeat, pick at meals or are fussy when it comes to food may be more at risk of eating disorders as teenagers," the Mail Online reports.

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Mobile phone app 'helps doctors detect acute kidney injury'

01 August 2019

BBC News reports: "A mobile phone app has speeded up the detection of a potentially fatal kidney condition in hospital patients."

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Over-75s who stop taking statins 'may raise risk of heart attack'

31 July 2019

"Coming off statins in old age raises the risk of heart attack or stroke by around a third," reports The Sun.

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Talking therapy 'should be offered before pills' for people with insomnia

30 July 2019

"Insomnia sufferers can benefit from therapy," reports The Guardian. US and European guidelines already advise GPs to refer patients with insomnia for a type of talking therapy called cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) before trying sleeping pills. But until now there's been insufficient evidence about how well CBT works in primary care settings, such as GP surgeries, rather than in specialist sleep clinics.

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'Waist size not BMI predicts early death risk in postmenopausal women,' study claims

25 July 2019

"Middle-aged women with waists over 35 inches have a 30% higher risk of early death," reports the Mail Online.

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'Eating fish regularly' linked to lower risk of bowel cancer

24 July 2019

"Eating fish regularly slashes the risk of bowel cancer," reports The Sun.

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Eating more plant-based foods 'reduces type 2 diabetes risk'

23 July 2019

"Eating more fruit and vegetables can reduce the risk of developing diabetes by almost a quarter," reports The Independent.

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