That ‘fertility cliff’? It may be more of a gentle slope

The study that identified 35 as a cut-off year was based on 17th-century church records. More modern evidence is available

20 Oct 2016

Periods don’t sync, period

Study after study has shown that the original research was deeply flawed… but it fits a stereotype of female empathy

5 May 2016

Parents won’t believe me, but ‘sugar rush’ is a myth

Sugar does not drive children insane. It has hardly any effect on their behaviour at all

18 Feb 2016

IVF can be horrible. Adding a cancer scare to the ordeal is just nasty

Most of us, if we’re in our 30s or later, know someone who’s had to go through IVF. The fertility…

22 Oct 2015

Wi-Fi and the scare that won’t die

Very probably not, says Tom Chivers, but the symptoms of people who believe that it is are perfectly real

22 Oct 2015

Tidying, the secret to weight loss? Don’t be fooled by the Mail’s mad claim

There is an old adage in news reporting, which goes something like: a dog biting a man is not news;…

21 Oct 2015

The great water myth

For years we have been continually told that we aren’t drinking enough water, but what is the truth behind those eight glasses of water?

9 May 2015

An eye for a book

It’s quite hard, growing up as a bookwormy kid. It’s rock and a hard place, Scylla and Charybdis (bookwormy, see?).…

21 Feb 2015

Teenage fathers and mental health: a true story unfairly reported

There’s a difference between something being true, and something being fair, as I’m sure you realise. I’m going to look…

20 Feb 2015

Hyperbole about the dangers of ‘skunk’ won’t help those at risk – but a change in the law might

Can I write an entire blog post about one sentence? I’d certainly like to. The sentence in question is ‘The…

16 Feb 2015

Bad news for the lazy – jogging isn’t actually bad for you

There’s nothing the health editors of the nation love more than a counter-intuitive story. We’ve been over the red-wine-is-good-for-you, chocolate-is-good-for-you…

6 Feb 2015

No, cats did not smell your cancer

No, they bloody didn’t. They just didn’t. ‘Cats detected my cancer’, reads a headline on Mail Online. But, let’s face…

30 Jan 2015

Finally! A health story about cancer that doesn’t resort to hyperbole

The lot of the snarky health-science debunker is not a happy one. It involves going to a lot of newspaper…

22 Jan 2015

How not to be taken for a mug by misleading health stories this New Year

The Christmas/New Year period is always fun for health balls. Because we like drinking lots of wine and eating lots…

31 Dec 2014

Cancer isn’t calling

I should preface this piece with a warning: I may be wrong. Perhaps, some day, greybeards will speak in dire…

22 Nov 2014

The Daily Mail is wrong — homeopathy can’t cure Ebola

Normally this blog is about relatively silly things, I’m happy to admit. Is red wine good for you? (No.) Are…

20 Nov 2014

Should old people start wearing stilettos?

It must, I sometimes think, be exhausting, if you actually take health advice from newspapers; diligently eating eggs one week…

19 Nov 2014

How does naturopathy work? A bit like a flying vacuum-cleaner to Mars

Every so often you read a piece about alternative medicine that asks: how does it work? How does homeopathy work,…

10 Nov 2014

The idiot diet – nonsense vs common sense in ‘Paleo’ nutrition

Looking for real power? Get a jump-start on the future of global fuel at The Spectator’s energy conference on 1 December. Tickets are still…

4 Nov 2014

Lies, damn lies and health statistics – smoking is more deadly than serving in Afghanistan

Basically nothing is as bad for you as smoking. Short of fairly obvious things like blunt-force trauma or falling out…

30 Oct 2014

Smoking weed won’t make your kids smarter, but it won’t make them brain-dead, either

Lacking in pep? Looking for some extra zing as winter sets in? The Spectator recommends our energy conference on 1 December.…

24 Oct 2014

The limits of ‘superfood’ – debunking broccoli

Over in my day job, I recently wrote a piece about ‘superfoods’ and the myths that a particular kind of…

17 Oct 2014

Of course marijuana isn’t ‘safe’ – but should it be illegal?

Sometimes I read things that really get on my wick, and last week was one of those times. A new,…

13 Oct 2014

Winter is coming: do you really need a flu jab?

Winter is coming. You can tell because the days are drawing in, the light has that autumnal greyness, and the…

9 Oct 2014

The Pulse: Could red wine solve the world’s problems? Probably not…

The Pulse is the Spectator’s answer to media nonsense about health. Tom Chivers looks past the headlines and all the…

6 Oct 2014

Why warming up won’t stop the pain

As you get older, you may notice that everything takes a little longer to get better. If you have a…

27 Sep 2014