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

Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Sport
Manchester United striker Radamel Falcao is yet to prove his fitness
footballAll the action from today's games
Sport
David Silva strokes home his and City's second goal
football
Arts and Entertainment
a clockwork orange, stanley kubrick
film
Extras
The Tesco Hudl2: An exceptional Android tablet that's powerful, well-built and outstanding value
indybest

News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricket
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drinkAuthor DBC Pierre presents his guide to the morning after
Career Services

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas