Late last week the NHS hit out at a story run by several newspapers which suggested girls as young as nine-years-old were asking to go under the surgeon's knive in pursuit of "designer vaginas". What's more some papers suggested the nation's under 10s were being inspired to seek surgery by a trnd for 'pornstar chic'.
The Metro claimed ''Pornstar chic' sees nine-year-old girls ask for 'designer vaginas' on the NHS'.
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail went with 'Hundreds of girls aged 14 or under are having 'designer vagina' surgery on the NHS'.
The NHS hit back at what it branded "lurid headlines" and a wilful misrepresentation of the facts.
The NHS wrote:
"The lurid headlines are purportedly based on a study examining the quality of information provided in online advertisements by 10 private clinics.
"While the study does accurately quote NHS statistics showing more than 300 labiaplasties were performed by the NHS on girls aged 14 or younger in the last six years, there is no evidence that these operations were performed for cosmetic reasons... There are a number of clinical reasons why a labiaplasty may be performed, such as an excess of labia tissue causing pain and making a child vulnerable to repeat infection or causing them problems with urination..."
The prevention of pain and infections in children clearly didn't make for a strong enough headline though - not when 300 clinical procedures on the NHS (just 50 per year, over a six year period) could be turned into a story that shoe-horned 'designer vaginas' and 'pornstar chic' into a headline about young kids.
Jolly fat people... or not
Earlier in the week the NHS responded to another Daily Mail article, this time claiming the notion that fat people are naturally jollier has finally been proven by science:
Again, this story caused the NHS to step in, branding it an "over-simplistic take on a complex piece of research" - not least because the research quoted actually suggesed the opposite may be true (if a little inconvenient for headline writers):
"The headline 'fat people really are more jolly' bears little resemblance to the research it is based on and is actually the opposite of the study's findings... The researchers actually found that for most people, an increase in BMI led to a modest increase in the risk of depression of 2% for each BMI point."
You can read the NHS's full rebuttal here.