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?

Brits miss out on billions at retirement

Britons are missing out on billions at retirement by failing to shop around for the right annuity.

Diabetes: Cases double in 30 years - and the outlook is bleak

Nearly one in 10 adults now has the disease, according to major study

Low-calorie diet may offer breakthrough for diabetes

People with Type 2 diabetes could reverse their condition by sticking to a very low calorie diet, new research claims.

The Last Gift, By Abdulrazak Gurnah

In The Last Gift, his eighth novel, Abdulrazak Gurnah returns to the themes of exile and guilt he explored in Admiring Silence, By the Sea and Desertion. He creates psychologically complex characters who are victims of circumstance, buffeted by the vicissitudes of colonialism and the tides of global migration. They are also burdened with a sense of loss and shame borne out of their particular story of leaving and not returning. No one feels entirely innocent; all are marked, if not by a sense of culpability, then by an intimation of unspoken dread.

Surgeons warn over limiting obesity operations

The NHS would regret the cost of limiting treatment for obesity, a group of surgeons said today.

Heaven knows we're miserable now – UK lags in happiness stakes

David Cameron has set great store on the nation's wellbeing – but a survey shows he has a lot of work to do

I'm still alive, and I'll be back, says arch-terrorist

Russia's most wanted terrorist has made a phone call to a radio station, proclaiming that he is in good health and warning of further attacks, scotching speculation that he was killed in a raid last month.

Breakthrough paves way for early-warning diabetes test

A test to detect diabetes up to 10 years before the first symptoms appear could soon emerge from preliminary research showing that it is possible to find changes in the blood of people who go on to develop the disease.

Life expectancy is still rising – despite obesity epidemic

We are living longer despite getting fatter, and there is no sign yet that the increase in life expectancy is coming to an end, according to a study.

Leading article: Risky business

It's the final piece in the jigsaw. For years now, scientists have told us that if we don't get enough sleep we are are at an increased risk of a heart attack, stroke, diabetes and cancer. The modern trend for late nights and early mornings is doing us out of the seven to eight hours a night we need to protect our health.

Government experts urging Britons to eat less red meat

Government advisers will publish a report tomorrow recommending people limit their consumption of red meat.

Video: Miracle dog smells emergency

Shirley the medical assistance dog goes everywhere, even school, with young diabetic Rebecca Farrar.

Can a workout make all of you better?

The benefits of exercise go way beyond toned muscles and a healthy heart. It can also boost brain function, improve mood, and help build resistance to a range of illnesses from flu to cancer, says Sophie Morris

The high price of sleep problems

Poor sleepers are four times more likely to have relationship problems and three times more likely to be unable to concentrate as those who get enough rest, according to a new report.

<i>IoS</i> letters, emails &amp; online postings (2 January 2011)

Your "smug list" (26 December) failed to include someone who should have been a shoo-in for the top spot. His vanity and conceit are perfectly exemplified by his desire to have countless photographs of himself taken, often touched up for maximum effect. He also loves to hear the sound of his own voice, talking volubly but saying little. Furthermore, his arrogance enables him to indulge in the most pathetic PR stunts in order to hoodwink the public. Yes, for being the most smug, ubiquitous and irritating person of 2010, David Cameron takes the honours.

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