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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'