Life and Style Only 3.4 per cent of the Solihull area is covered by housing

It isn’t hard to find an architect who will tell you that vast swathes of the British urban landscape are ugly, grey and unappealing – nor would you struggle to find people who agreed with them. But could it be that the look and the layout of our cities is actually bad for our health?

The News Matrix: Thursday 25 April 2013

The price of Spice may surprise you

Sweetened soft drinks contain a lot of calories which contribute to overweight and obesity, which in turn is a cause of diabetes

One can of fizzy drink a day increases Type 2 diabetes risk by a fifth

Western lifestyles blamed as one in 20 UK adults now thought to suffer from the disease

Gillian Astbury died in Stafford Hospital, aged 66, because nurses failed to give her insulin

First criminal probe into patient death at scandal-hit Mid-Staffs hospital

Officials admit diabetic Gillian Astbury suffered ‘appalling’ care on ward before she died

Stafford Hospital

Stafford Hospital: Criminal investigation into death of diabetic woman

A criminal investigation has begun into the death of a woman at scandal-hit Stafford Hospital, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said today.

The Cuban diet: eat less, exercise more - and preventable deaths are halved

A country whose citizens collectively succeeded in losing weight and increasing their level of physical activity saw their health improve and death rates plunge.

Researchers suggest baldness may be a sign of incipient diabetes, chronic inflammation or increased sensitivity to testosterone, all of which increase the risk of heart disease

The bald facts: hair loss could be the first sign you have heart disease

Losing your hair could be the first visible sign of heart disease – but only if it is from the top of your head.

World Sleep Day: It isn’t just overweight middle-aged men who are at risk from sleep apnoea

Addressing the problem of obstructive sleep apnoea in this country should be a great success story – but so far, it isn’t

People perform better in mental tests at the age of 50 if they have engaged in regular intense activity since childhood

Healthy mind in healthy body: lifelong exercise keeps the brain working better

Lifelong exercise can lead to improved brain function in later life, a study has shown.

May wee? Test your urine using your smartphone

New app for testing your urine launches (and it doesn't involve dropping your smartphone down the loo)

Hypochondriacs rejoice. A new app that can analyse urine and check for medical conditions will be available to download from March.

Standing up daily for an extra 90 minutes significantly lowers your chances of developing this serious metabolic disorder

Desk workers - stand up for your health: Millions may be making themselves ill by spending their working lives sitting down

If you are reading this sitting down then the chances are you are also increasing your risk of developing heart disease, blood clots on the brain and even certain types of cancer.

'We cursed the cancer. It's dead': Religious satellite TV show 'Miracle Hour' is 'risking lives' by promising cures say charities

During one episode a caller was told to tell relative with cancer 'not to worry about anything'

Melanie C has received the mum of the year award

Spice Girl Mel C wins mum of the year award

Former Spice Girl Mel C has been named Tesco's Celebrity Mum of the Year.

‘Hooked on happy pills’? How the media demonises mental health medication

Language is very telling of attitudes - would it be the same talking about medication for high blood pressure?

Overeating and obesity to blame for medical disorders, NOT plastics chemical found in body

Modern Western diet could be factor in health problems associated with an increase in exposure to bisphenol A

Bishop of Liverpool launches scathing attack on Government cuts programme

'Social diabetes' warning offered to cities hit hardest by budget changes

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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam