Britain’s National Health Service is getting passionate about chocolate, erections and good science. The NHS website has a fantastic new(ish) section called “Behind The Headlines”, a rapid-response force for some of the nonsense that passes for “science” in the newspapers every day.
In the last couple of weeks the site has picked up studies that purport to show that passion fruit peel cures asthma, that cocoa helps diabetics ward off heart disease (that one was funded by confectionery manufacturer Mars, funnily enough), and that diabetic men with droopy dicks are headed for heart attacks. Each study is evaluated and put into context, its findings are clarified and its limitations pointed out. The site could become a study of its own: which of Britain’s major news sources are most likely to turn bad science into great headlines?