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?

We used to describe poor children as 'skinny runts' - now it's the opposite: Minister says deprived families are more likely to be obese

Public health minister Anna Soubry claims it is easy to identify the poorest people in society by their weight

We used to describe poor children as 'skinny runts' - now it's the opposite: Minister says deprived families are more likely to be obese

Public health minister Anna Soubry claims it is easy to identify the poorest people in society by their weight

Lucozade and Ribena to cut sugar content in products in drive to cut obesity

Soft drinks brands Lucozade and Ribena have pledged to reduce the sugar in some products as part of the Government's efforts to cut obesity rates.

More fat drivers die in car crashes

Obese drivers are more likely to die in car crashes than other motorists, scientists have found.

Danny Rogers on PR: Coke weighs in on the US obesity drive

Coca-Cola is trying to stop Americans getting fat. Spot the irony in that sentence. But some truth lies therein. Last week Coke launched its first “anti-obesity” advertising campaign, with a two-minute TV commercial on mainstream news channels, followed by another ad during American Idol.

Joan Smith: Supermarkets' cosmetically perfect vegetables impoverish us all

Every Sunday morning, in a working-class suburb of Granada, there is a crowded, sprawling market. Unlike the city centre, which is decidedly posh, it bustles with immigrants from North Africa and local farmers with strong Andalucian accents. They sell misshapen vegetables, twisted red and green peppers which taste wonderful roasted with olive oil and garlic, and tomatoes so juicy they're almost splitting open.

Why does Beyoncé advertise Pepsi?

Beyoncé is, quite literally, the face of Pepsi. Last month she had the logo of the drinks giant printed across her lips, and on February 3rd, at the Super Bowl halftime show, she'll rock a stadium to promote Coca-Cola's longtime rival. For this and other efforts, the singer is being paid the handsome fee of $50 million: but even such vast quantities of cash shouldn't convince stars to sell soda, argues Mark Bittman in the New York Times.

Overweight benefit claimants could have their money docked if they refuse to exercise

Overweight benefit claimants could have their money docked if they refuse exercise regimes prescribed by doctors under pioneering council plans.

Experts reject claims that extra weight is healthy

It was, given its timing, unexpectedly good news: as thousands were poised to begin New Year diets, US researchers reported on 1 January that being overweight could extend your life.

Revealed: fructose 'may spur overeating'

Scientists have used imaging tests to show for the first time that fructose, a sugar that saturates the American diet, can trigger brain changes that may lead to overeating.

Big Ray, By Michael Kimball

This elliptical novel deftly tackles the modern malaise of obesity and problematic fathers

Cigarette companies ordered to apologise, but is junk food the new tobacco?

Pointing the finger of blame at others for our poor health and obesity isn't acceptable.

Britain is the fattest nation in Europe

Britain is the fattest nation in Western Europe, with more than a quarter of the population ranked as obese.

A diabetes test: Diabetes rates are soaring in the United States

Diabetes rates soar as 18 States see diagnosed cases double

The number of people living with diabetes is soaring in the United States, as 18 states had at least a doubling in those with the illness since 1995, a government survey found.

Fire brigades called to deal with weight issues – 2,700 times

Fire brigades have been called to more than 2,700 incidents over the past five years to assist severely obese people, figures show.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan