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

MBEs for ordinary people who did extraordinary work

New Year Honours: Unsung Heroes

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.

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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Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence