Newsbrief: Laid to rest, at last

A body lay in a council mortuary for five years because the man's family did not arrange a funeral. Camden council officials have now asked magistrates for permission to bury Edward Brennan, because they fear the corpse would become a health hazard.

Leading Article: The rights and wrongs of treating anorexia

THE CASE of Samantha Kendall, the anorexia nervosa sufferer who discharged herself from hospital despite doctors' fears for her life, has highlighted the confusion in public thinking about this disturbing and perplexing disease. Ten years ago anorexia was still dismissed as nothing more than slimming gone too far. Today it is recognised as a treatable medical condition; but the degree to which treatment should be carried out without the patient's consent has become a topic of debate.

Gays protest over sex vote

YESTERDAY'S Labour executive committee meeting was invaded by a group of gay activists protesting that Labour MPs had blocked equalisation of the age of consent at 16.

Doctors find third eating disorder

A third type of eating disorder that could affect the lives of many thousands of women, impairing their work and relationships, is starting to be identified, according to a study published today.

Obesity on increase as UK becomes 'healthier'

(First Edition)

Health: Fat and eaten up by unhappiness: Youngsters who are severely overweight are getting help and support from a school-based intervention programme, says Heather Welford

CONCERN about youngsters with eating problems tends to focus on the alarming increase in anorexia and bulimia among teenage and even younger girls. Yet being severely overweight is, in both sexes, just as serious.

Australian authorities get heavy with would-be immigrant nurse

A BRITISH NURSE brought up in Australia has been refused a resident's visa unless she cuts her weight from 18st 6lb to 13st.

Letter: Weighty issue

TO FEATURE a woman of 5ft 9in who weighs 11st 7lb in an article about 'fatness' ('We're happy to be the fat of the land', 21 November) only perpetuates the view that 'normal' (whatever that is) sized women are overweight.

Letter: Facts about fat

Sir: You illustrate an article reporting Virginia Bottomley's injunctions about the increasing prevalence of obesity in the UK with a picture of 'a typically high- cholesterol meal' (16 November). But eating cholesterol-rich foods, unless done to great excess, has very little to do with being overweight.

Bottomley acts on obesity

(First Edition)

Letter: How to smoke your way to an early grave

Sir: I cannot disagree with the conclusions reached by Henry Paul (Letters, 11 October) that tobacco advertising should be banned and that taxes on cigarettes should be increased. However, his misleading statements about the health hazards of smoking cannot be allowed to pass.

Leading Article: A couple deemed too fat to foster

AS SHOWN by the 46-stone Glamorgan couple banned as foster parents by their local council on grounds of obesity, seriously overweight people face many difficulties. Those who live in Western society are battered daily by images intended to convey an ideal stereotype. The message of the media, and of advertising in particular, is that all rational, healthy, normal and right- thinking people should strive to conform to these ideals. Women should be slim yet curvaceous; men tallish, muscular and, yes, slim - though since less of their body is generally on view, they will be less severely judged.

Travel: Don't let this holiday bug get you: Health hazards for travellers appear to be on the increase. Simon Calder makes a calm appraisal of recent sickness scares

THE traveller to the former Soviet Union faces many hazards besides black-marketeers, bureaucrats and bandits. As infrastructure crumbles, there has been a resurgence of disease in Russia and the republics. Fears were raised this week about malaria in Moscow, where there has been a sharp increase in the number of female anopheles mosquitoes, which spread the disease. They are reportedly breeding prolifically in reservoirs around the capital.

HEALTH / Compulsive eaters come out of the closet: Most women have some kind of problem with food. As a campaign is mounted against the diet industry, Celia Dodd talks to food addicts and finds out how they can be helped

EATING disorders are flavour of the month. The public is transfixed by the spectre of anorexia and bulimia, illnesses most people regard with horrified fascination from a safe distance. By contrast, the common or garden disorder - compulsive eating - is largely ignored. Yet most women are affected by it at some time in their lives.

MUSIC / Fresh light on death

The course of true love never did run smooth. Over at the Coliseum right now it's a positive health hazard. Remember what curiosity did for Judith in Bluebeard's Castle? David Alden's crimson production is back, its potency redoubled under the forceful and poetic musical direction of Adam Fischer. And it has a new and seemingly unlikely bedfellow in The Duel of Tancredi and Clorinda. Monteverdi's tiny opera is a moment lifted from Torquato Tasso's epic poem Jerusalem Delivered and frozen, isolated in time. At the first performance Monteverdi prefaced it with a selection of madrigals: Alden and music director, Harry Bicket, have done the same. 'Snuff Madrigals', Alden has called them - an apt description, for they are a prelude to death. They give the star- crossed lovers a past and a future, an emotional context; they establish relationship, motivations; they almost - it has to be said - overwhelm the opera proper.
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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