Life and Style Obalon - a new weight loss balloon that can be swallowed in a pill and has been launched across the UK

The apple-sized balloon is encased in a pill which patients swallow

Slimming fads have been around for more than 2,000 years

Dieting: Battle of the bulge

Fad diets are nothing new – people have been following them for two millennia. A look back on 20 centuries of bingeing, purging, snake oil and strange ideas

McCoy faces two weeks out after fall

The early indications are that Tony McCoy should be sidelined for around a fortnight after being sent to hospital yesterday with suspected rib fractures, sustained in a fall at Taunton.

MBEs for ordinary people who did extraordinary work

New Year Honours: Unsung Heroes

Lisa Markwell: The real taste test is getting our teenagers to eat at all

Ever since we witnessed the dispiriting sight of mothers feeding their children takeaway burgers through the fence on a Jamie Oliver show, school dinners have become political.

Joanna Blythman: Don't fall for the low-cal trick

Don't rush to applaud fast food restaurants for displaying calorie counts on their Big Macmenus. This move, which comes as part of a deal between the Government and the food industry, might look enlightened, but it is no more than a marketing ploy that will yield no rewards for the nation's health.

Scientists debunk decades-old theories on losing weight

Dieting is harder than you think. If you cut out a chocolate bar each day you will lose only one-third of the weight that experts had thought. For decades, doctors have based their advice to those who want to lose weight on the assumption that cutting 500 calories a day will see the weight fall off at the rate of 1lb a week.

'Fat and fit live as long as slim'

People who are fat and fit live just as long as their slim counterparts and are less likely to die from heart disease, according to a new study.

Toddler drowns in health club pool

A toddler has drowned in the swimming pool of a health club, police confirmed today.

Drug trials yield higher weight loss

The search for a drug-based solution to the problem of obesity faces a common difficulty – if the treatment is safe it is not effective, and if it is effective it is not safe.

The Cost of Obesity

£4.2 billion is spent on obesity every year by the NHS.

'Humiliation' of being overweight

The archetypal overweight woman is between 45 and 54, has been married for 20 years, weighs 13st 3lbs, wears size 18, and experiences humiliation every day.

'Greatest loser' award for man who shed 17 stone

A former taxi driver who shed 17 stone won a slimming award today.

TB may have killed Jane Austen

Novelist Jane Austen may have died from tuberculosis rather than Addison's disease as is widely believed, an expert said yesterday.

Album: Mad Men Season 2, Retail & rental, (Lionsgate)

Mad Men will never win any awards for promoting a healthy lifestyle. If you can see through the cigarette fug, yes, that is yet another drink the team at ad agency Sterling Cooper is downing.

David Randall: I'm David and I'm a teetotaller. What has Alan Johnson begun?

Our writer owns up to a profligate life as a pineapple juice pariah
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee