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.

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Is it easier to burn off a big breakfast than a big dinner?

20 February 2020

"Eat a big breakfast to lose weight fast – you'll 'burn twice as many calories'," reports The Sun.

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Western-style diet may impair memory and encourage unhealthy eating

19 February 2020

"Researchers find a western-style diet can impair brain function," reports The Guardian on a study that looked at the cognitive effects of eating a high fat, high sugar diet.

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No proof that the Mediterranean diet reduces frailty in older age

18 February 2020

Despite positive reports, secondary analysis study provides no proof that eating a Mediterranean diet directly reduces frailty or improves memory.

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Skin cancer "more common" among gay and bisexual men

13 February 2020

A survey of 845,264 men and women in the US found that men who said they were gay or bisexual were more likely to have been diagnosed with skin cancer than straight (heterosexual) men.

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Light activity may improve mental health for teenagers

12 February 2020

More time spent doing light activity at age 12 to 16 has been linked to lower depression scores at age 18, while more time spent sitting still was linked to higher depression scores.

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Can a single injection prevent cervical cancer?

11 February 2020

"Cervical cancer could be prevented with a single injection," reports The Independent. This is based on a study that looked at the impact of different numbers of doses of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination in more than 130,000 women in the US.

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Could a new study give hope for earlier diagnosis of cancer?

06 February 2020

"Signs of cancer can appear long before diagnosis, study shows," reports The Guardian on a study that looked at 2,658 tumour samples and 38 cancer types.

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Red meat and processed food 'not back on the menu' according to new review

04 February 2020

"Eating pork or beef twice a week raises risk of heart disease, according to study," the Mail Online reports.

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Study claims a common food compound could lower dementia risk

03 February 2020

"Drinking tea and red wine with plenty of kale could slash the risk of Alzheimer's disease," reports the Mail Online.

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New lung cells may replace tobacco-damaged cells after people stop smoking

30 January 2020

"Lungs 'magically' heal damage from smoking," reports BBC News. This encouraging headline is prompted by a new UK-based study.

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New evidence supports advice not to drink alcohol in pregnancy

29 January 2020

"Drinking alcohol during pregnancy really does lead to poor brain function in babies, study confirms," The Mail Online reports.

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Could a new blood test predict when menopause will start?

23 January 2020

Researchers in the US tested the ability of a blood test for anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) to predict when a woman would have her final period.

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People advised to keep using sunscreen, even though it may be absorbed through skin

22 January 2020

"Sunscreens leach up to 360 times more toxic chemicals into the blood than the FDA allows," reports the Mail Online.

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