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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Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor