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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Day In a Page

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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

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
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

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Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect