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?

'Sleep diet' may be the best way to slim says research

A “sleep diet” may be the best way to slim for someone with an inherited tendency to put on weight, research suggests.

Sugar warning for 'healthy drinks'

People are underestimating sugar levels in drinks which are perceived to be "healthy" options, according to new research.

Campaign launched to combat rising levels of obesity

Surgeons, psychiatrists, paediatricians and GPs launched a campaign today to battle rising levels of obesity, saying current strategies are not working.

Letters: School meals

We must nourish poorer children

Height linked to ovarian cancer

Tall women are at greater risk of ovarian cancer, new research has shown.

Bigger waistlines linked to rise in kidney cancer

Expanding waistlines are blamed today for soaring rates of kidney cancer which have more than doubled since the 1970s.

More than half the ground beef sold in America contains 'pink slime'

'Pink slime' meat continues to cause unsavoury row in the US

Take a cow. Chop it into pieces. Sell the immediately edible bits to supermarkets, ship its hide to a handbag factory, and send leftover bones and internal organs to some sort of rendering plant.

More than half the ground beef sold in America contains 'pink slime'

Nutrition: America awakens to the sour taste of 'pink slime'

The meat product that's in all kinds of US food is causing a very unsavoury row

Chocolate 'can help keep you slim'

Far from piling on the pounds, a chocolate habit can help keep you slim, new research suggests.

Pofessor Greg Whyte: Fat is not an Olympic legacy issue, fitness is

The global pandemic of obesity that blights developed nations has driven a national obsession which has demonised fat and created a "fatist" society. For over two decades we have been subjected to a media vilification of those who dare to carry a few extra pounds and an incessant diatribe of diet propaganda purporting to possess the panacea for health.

Liver disease deaths reach record levels

Deaths from liver disease have reached record levels after rising 25 per cent in a decade.

Chemicals in plastic linked to rise in obesity and diabetes

Man-made chemicals present in homes, schools, offices, cars and food are probably contributing to the sharp rise in obesity and diabetes in western societies, according to a review of scientific literature published today.

Terence Blacker: Overweight, overexposed and over here

There is, as usual, a belt-busting amount of fat-related news this week. Which? magazine accused the Government of failing to defuse the UK's famous ticking obesity time bomb. The title of Slimming Couple of the Year was awarded to Simon and Tracy Bartlett (pictured), who shed 15 stone in 18 months. And at the annual conference of the American Heart Association, the result of a major survey was announced. Sitting in front of a TV for several hours every day is, stunned delegates were told, likely to make you fat.

Terence Blacker: Overweight, overexposed and over here

TV makes overeating and then starving oneself into inspirational drama
Police in the future will face shuttle run tests throughout terms of service. Anyone who fails three times is subject to disciplinary proceedings and loss of pay

Strong arm of the law

New plans to modernise the police force would see officers fitter, smarter – and having and work for less. Paul Peachey reports

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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
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?