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Eating red meat increases your risk of early death, study finds

pulled pork sandwich with chips
Time to ditch the pulled pork (Picture: Getty)

Eating red and processed meat increases your likelihood of an earlier death, experts have warned.

We know, no one likes being told their favourite foods could kill them, but it must be done. We only care about your health.

A new study urges us all to swap red and processed meat for fish, eggs, and lean chicken (we don’t think that fried chicken burger counts as being especially virtuous, though).

The research, published in the British Medical Journal, examined the dietary habits of more than 81,000 people in the US.

People were asked how much they had eaten on average per year of different types of foods over the previous eight years, including red and processed meats (such as ham, hot dogs and bacon), nuts, fish, eggs, whole grains, legumes and chicken and turkey without skin.

The results showed that people who increased their red and processed meat intake by at least half a serving per day over the eight years had a 10% higher risk of dying in the subsequent eight-year period.

The increased risk for processed meat alone was 13% and was 9% for unprocessed red meat.

Tomahawk beef steak with mushrooms, burrata and sage potato wedges
No more steak (Picture: Getty)

Half a serving of red meat counts as 42.5g, while half a serving of processed meat was marked as one rasher of bacon, half a hot dog, or 14g of a sausage. So even an extra sausage at breakfast could tip you into an early death risk.

Those who cut their intake of red and processed meat in favour of healthier proteins such as eggs, chicken, and fish, lived longer.

A decrease in red and processed meat consumption and a simultaneous increase in the consumption of nuts led to a 19% reduced risk of dying over an eight-year period.

Swapping a daily portion of meat for fish cut the risk by 17%, whole grains by 12% and poultry without skin by 10%.

Swapping to vegetables cut the risk by 10%, eggs by 8% and legumes by 6%.

All those numbers mean that if you want to live for a long time, replacing red meat (pork, beef, lamb) for fish, vegetables, whole grains, and chicken is the way to go.

The researchers said: ‘This association with mortality was observed with increased consumption of processed and unprocessed meat, but was stronger for processed meat

‘A decrease in total red meat consumption and a simultaneous increase in the consumption of nuts, fish, poultry without skin, dairy, eggs, whole grains, or vegetables over eight years was associated with a lower risk of death in the subsequent eight years.

‘These findings suggest that a change in protein source or eating healthy plant based foods such as vegetables or whole grains can improve longevity.’

Dr Giota Mitrou, director of research at the World Cancer Research Fund, said: ‘This new study reinforces our own evidence that eating red meat or processed meat increases the risk of cancer.

‘We know that the choices people make are a result of the environments that they live in, so we call on the Government to take a bold step and introduce policies, such as subsidies on healthier food like fruit and vegetables, that empower people to make these healthier swaps by making our daily environments healthier.

‘We recommend that people eat no more than three portions of red meat a week, as this provides a balance between the advantages of red meat as a source of essential nutrients and the disadvantages.

‘However, we recommend that people eat little or no processed meat, such as bacon.’

MORE: Reducing meat consumption could help prevent obesity

MORE: Cutting back on red meat ‘will save the planet’

MORE: Endometriosis risk is doubled in women who regularly eat red meat

My Label and Me: I am in a loving relationship with a married couple and that makes me a unicorn


Unicorn. No matter how you say it, or how you write it, generally the same image will flash through your mind.

A white horse with a twisted horn, coupled with a multi-coloured mane and tail. A positively stunning creature that is rare and extremely hard to come by. It’s hard to hold onto, it may have the power to neutralise poison, cure disease, or resurrect the dead.

Or possibly to you, a unicorn could represent a tech start-up company valued at more than a billion dollars.

I am neither of those things.

A unicorn, in my case, is a third person that enters a couple’s relationship.

A unicorn, in my case, is a third person that enters a couple’s relationship (Picture: Jerry Syder/ Metro.co.uk)

I’ve been in a relationship with Cathy and Thomas for over a year and a half, but I had never encountered this term until we we’re being interviewed about our relationship.

On introducing myself as Thomas and Cathy’s girlfriend, the interviewer looked up from her questions and said, ‘Oh, so you’re a unicorn’.

I had been given the label and had very little knowledge of what it meant. Afterwards, I scoured the internet for what it meant to be one.

The label is linked to the literal meaning of the word, that such individuals are unique and rarely found.

The search to find a person whom is not only bisexual, but also is willing to enter a long-standing relationship governed by existing structures is as challenging as finding the mythical animal.

I’ve found two people whom I feel safe with and loved within the relationship (Picture: Jerry Syder/ Metro.co.uk)

Society loves labels. It makes things easy, metred and gauge-able. This label just happens to be one that makes me smile.

I’ve found two people whom I feel safe with and loved within the relationship.

I met Cathy through work and was immediately drawn to her. She introduced me to Thomas roughly six months after over a three-way-date where sparks flew between he and I.

Cathy and Thomas have been together for eight years, married for five and open for six. It was their openness and sharing through conversation that attracted me to them.

Originally, I fell head over heels for Thomas; he was so sure of himself, not to mention beautiful on the inside and out.

As our relationship developed, I would often share my time with Thomas and Cathy together. It was natural and comfortable. The time between us flowed with effortless conversation and flirting glances.

We exercise constant communication to ensure we’re all on the same page (Picture: Jerry Syder/ Metro.co.uk)

And because of the time spent as three (we call it ‘three-time’), I developed an underlying vibration of love not only for Thomas but Cathy, too.

I fell in love with the three of us as one

I am welcomed into a loving space with the support of two partners. I have complete freedom inside the relationship and I can also see other people.

We exercise constant communication to ensure we’re all on the same page.

Unfortunately, that’s not the way a lot of people see unicorn relationships – and to be fair, the parameters of the label change within each relationship, as do the guidelines.

It’s important that each unicorn sees herself differently. However, I’ve often found in the polyamorous community that a unicorn is considered by many as a negative term.

I am an equal part of the three-way-relationship (Picture: Jerry Syder/ Metro.co.uk)

Generally used to describe women, she’s stereotyped as the ‘hot bisexual babe’ and only invited into a couple’s existing relationship for sex.

She will end all other relationships to be the couple’s main girlfriend, only being allowed to have sex with the couple together as a threesome.

She comes and goes whenever the original couple say so and is given no flexibility or freedom – it’s a pretty unfair agreement.

Luckily, in my case, Cathy and Thomas see a unicorn as much more. I am the very rare third person who openly joins their relationship to create a ‘throuple’. I am an equal part of the three-way-relationship.

Currently, being a unicorn is a big part of my life and I am open about my label, I thoroughly enjoy being the third person.

So, whilst I play youthfully within the realm of being a unicorn, I will share openly about my experiences and enjoy my relationship with Cathy and Thomas.


Labels is an exclusive series that hears from individuals who have been labelled – whether that be by society, a job title, or a diagnosis. Throughout the project, writers will share how having these words ascribed to them shaped their identity  positively or negatively  and what the label means to them.

If you would like to get involved please email jess.austin@metro.co.uk

MORE: My Label and Me: I’ve got a PhD but people only see me as working class

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MORE: My Label and Me: I became an orphan when I was seven years old

The problem with women describing themselves as ‘guy’s girls’

Love Island's Lucie Donlan says she is a 'guys girls', the 21-year-old surfer comes from Newquay, Cornwall. (Photo: ITV)
Love Island’s Lucie described herself as a ‘guy’s girl’ in her first interview (Photo: ITV)

I always worry when I hear a woman describe herself as a ‘guy’s girl’. You know the little spiel that comes with it, too: ‘I’m not really a girl’s girl, I’m more of a guy’s girl’.

To me, that sort of declaration belongs in the same category as a man saying ‘you’re not like other girls’ to a woman he fancies.

He means it as a compliment but actually, it’s code for not liking women at all. It’s a way of subtly pitting women against each other and creating a false, potentially damaging rivalry that frankly we could do without, thank you kindly.

It seems to me that in most instances, identifying as a ‘guy’s girl’ like that is a shortcut for saying ‘I’m not like other girls’.

‘I’m not dramatic or hysterical or emotional. I’m laid back and easy-going, like a guy. I’m not threatening to you or your masculinity – how could I be, when I’m just like you?’

Love Island stars Amy and Lucie confiding in each other about the men in the villa. (Photo: ITV)
Judging by her behaviour in the Mallorca villa Lucie seems to be a great friend to other women (Photo: ITV)

‘I won’t bother you with any of those pesky female dramas, I promise’. The implication is that being a guy’s girl is somehow more attractive, without all the palaver other women allegedly put men through.

It’s a way of rejecting the stereotypes we attach to the experience of being female for yourself while reinforcing them for everyone else.

It reeks of internalised misogyny and I’m always sad and alarmed to hear it.

When she was introducing herself to the nation, 2019 Love Island contestant Lucie Donlan described herself as a ‘guy’s girl’. This is what she said:

‘I stand out and I’m different to the usual girls that might go on the show. I’m more into sports as well as being glam. I can do both, which makes me stand out compared to other girls. I’m more of a guy’s girl than a girl’s girl. I’ve got a lot of friends that are into riding bikes. I get on with those girls who are bit more tomboy-ish. I get on fine with girls, I just don’t like hanging out with girly girls too much. I like hanging out with guys because they’re into the same type of sports…less drama really.’

First of all, judging by her behaviour in the Mallorca villa so far, this doesn’t seem to be true.

Lucie is perfectly happy to get along with the other girls, listen to their advice and have their backs. She’s had tender little debriefs on her feelings for various boys with Amy and she put a good word in with Danny for Yewande.

Love Island stars Lucie Donlan and Anna Vakili seen hugging.
Lucie is perfectly happy to get along with the other girls, listen to their advice and have their backs (Photo: ITV)

She chats away merrily with all the women in the house and so far hasn’t seemed to have any trouble relating to them (and for a girl who likes ‘less drama,’ she seems just fine with causing it herself).

There are no signs at all, really, that she is a ‘guy’s girl’ who cannot or doesn’t want to connect with other women.

Perhaps this is the first time Lucie has had female friendship in her life – if so, I hope she’s discovered how powerfully glorious it can be.

Love Island alumnus Megan Barton Hanson also said last year that she didn’t have any female friends before she went into the villa and she’s since said some thoughtful things about the way society treats women.

She, too, I hope, discovered the extreme loneliness of having no female friends and allies.

It makes me wonder, then, why Lucie felt the need to establish herself as a ‘guy’s girl’ in the first place – or why any woman might.

Is it a sexy way of elevating herself above other women because she essentially thinks love is a contest? (To be fair to her, in the specific case of Love Island, is it).

Was she just desperate to find a way to stand out from the other women? Did the producers tell her to say it? Is it a defence mechanism because she doesn’t know how to get close to other women? Did she flag her inability to befriend women so that people on Twitter couldn’t slay her for it? Does she think it’s inherently unattractive to lean into being feminine?

Friendship with men is brilliant – if a little complicated, sometimes. It’s wonderful when women have genuine friendships with men.

Love Island stars Amber and Lucie listening to fellow islanders Tommy and Curtis. (Photo: ITV)
Female friendship is a beautiful, fortifying thing and being there for other women can be a powerful gesture of solidarity and rebellion (Photo: ITV)

I cherish the male friends I have in my life – as I think any woman should. But I don’t like this idea that we have to pick sides or alienate other women just to ingratiate ourselves with men.

I don’t like that sweet Lucie Donlan felt she needed to dismiss other women in order to be appealing to romantic suitors on reality television.

She may not want to be typically feminine, and that’s absolutely fine. She is perfectly entitled to be a ‘tomboy’; that’s not what this is about.

Women have no obligation whatsoever to be girly. It just saddens me to think that women might bypass friendship with other women in their efforts to land a man.

Female friendship is a beautiful, fortifying thing and being there for other women can be a powerful gesture of solidarity and rebellion.

I want every woman to know what it’s like to be close to other women. I want every woman to be a ‘girl’s girl’.

MORE: Love Island stars forced to strip even in the cold and why ‘loyal’ could be banned: Shock revelations from behind-the-scenes

MORE: It’s perfectly fine not to have a ‘best friend’

MORE: We need to let go of the myth of the girl squad


Grab your pals, the Friends-themed cafe is now open in a Manchester Primark

Inside the Friends-themed café at Primark in Manchester - all the food, drink and merchandise on sale
(Picture: Manchester Evening News/MEN MEDIA)

Could there be any more Friends-inspired things in the world?

The thirst for the iconic TV sitcom is unrelenting as the Friends-themed cafe people have been waiting for has just opened in a Primark store in Manchester.

Those obsessed with New York’s most famous six friends can visit the establishment while shopping at the budget retailer.

Styled after the famous cafe, Central Perk can be found inside the Primark and offers light refreshments while you take a break from all the shopping.

You can enjoy breakfast or a light lunch and snack on baked goods while drinking coffee from their signature mugs.

And did it really happen if you didn’t Instagram it? The iconic orange velvet sofa is part of the cafe too, providing the perfect photo opportunity to take some selfies.

Inside Manchester's Friends-themed cafe in Primark on Market Street
What a cute shopping perk (Picture: Manchester Evening News/MEN MEDIA)

The cafe – with similar neon coffee signs – is bigger than the one we see on set in the classic American show too, so you can grab a bunch of your own pals and enjoy the experience.

You can expect to see plenty of shout outs to the sitcom, from prints of Marcel the monkey, chick and duck, a holiday armadillo, and a sticker reading ‘my name is Regina Phalange’.

And of course, your Central Perk journey would not be complete without the tune of I’ll Be There For You by The Rembrandts.

Non Exclusive: It was the place where Ross and Rachel first kissed, where Phoebe sung Smelly Cat and where the entire cast would hang out sharing jokes. But now the ???Central Perk??? cafe will soon become a reality after a major UK department store announced it will open a Friends-themed cafe this week. Primark has shared a series of photos of the new cafe, which is located in Manchester, and fans of the classic 1990s TV show couldn???t be more excited. The photos of the new Central Perk cafe reveals it is an exact replica of the one on the set, with exposed brick-style walls and a wood-panelled bar, just like the one Gunther used to sell coffees from. A chalkboard menu, filled with New York-themed treats, will hang on the wall, and plenty of coffee tables and comfy chairs will fill the space. Visitors can even get a photo on the famous orange sofa, just like the one at the centre of the show???s most memorable moments. ------- DISCLAIMER: BEEM does not claim any Copyright or License in the attached material. Any downloading fees charged by BEEM are for BEEM's services only, and do not, nor are they intented to, convey to the user any Copyright or License in the material. By publshing this material, the user expressly agrees to indemnify and to hold BEEM harmless from any claims, demands, or causes of action arising out of or connected in any way with user's publication of the material.
Selfie anyone? (Picture: Manchester Evening News/MEN MEDIA)

Though more gimmicky than an average cafe, Central Perk boasts similar prices to its high street counterparts, offering a range of coffees, starting from 99p for a filter coffee, up to £2.75 for a large mocha.

You can also get iced coffees, teas, soft drinks as well as desserts like waffles. Those with a bigger appetite can go for sandwiches that Joey Tribiani would approve of.

Inside Manchester's Friends-themed cafe in Primark on Market Street
Expect plenty of odes to the TV show (Picture: Manchester Evening News/MEN MEDIA)

Those who really want to commemorate the experience can even go home with a few bits of merchandise.

Some of the things on offer include water bottles for £8, flip-flops for £2, £3 eye masks.

You can deck out your own bedroom with Friends bedding too, costing £14 for a single set. A Friends Monopoly is also available for £25 and just for the banter, an inflatable lilo with the word ‘pivot’ written on it for £10.

If coffee shop hangouts are your thing, you could even end up watching an episode of the TV show at the cafe.

How meta.

MORE: Primark has released a lovely new Friends homeware collection

MORE: Chinese cafe serves coffee with candy floss on top so it rains sweetness

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Baby’s birthmark was actually a tumour that could have made her go blind

sophia with her mum and dad
Sophia’s mark has almost cleared after a year of treatment (Picture: Caters News)

A baby girl’s birthmark was actually a tumour that could have made her go blind – and her mum only found out thanks to a stranger on Facebook.

Amanda Dobbins, 31, first noticed a little mark on her baby Sophia’s face when she was less than a week old.

Doctors assured her it was just a birthmark, but within days the mark had grown to cover half of Sophia’s face, leaving her with large red patches around her eye.

Desperate to figure out what was wrong, Amanda posted photos in a Facebook group for new mums. There, replies flooded in to tell the mum to get Sophia checked for a haemangioma, a tumour formed of blood vessels under the skin.

Amanda and husband Neil went to Great Ormond Street Hospital, where she was diagnosed with a haemangioma that, had it been left untreated, could have made Sophia blind.

What started as a pink mark grew into a large red tumour across Sophia's face
What started as a pink mark grew into a large red tumour across Sophia’s face (Picture: Caters News Agency)

Amanda, a pharmacy technician, said: ‘When she was three or four days old we could see a tiny little mark at the tip of her nose, it was like a little scratch.

‘First the doctors said it was a stork bite because it was really light pink- before we left the hospital it got a bit darker so they said it’s a port wine stain and that’s where they left it.

‘When she was about two weeks old, we were really worried and didn’t know where to turn because it was just getting bigger and redder but I trusted the doctors.

Sophia's birthmark was actually a tumour
When the mark began to bleed, Sophia’s parents panicked (Picture: Caters News Agency)

‘We were constantly researching, trying to find out information on port wine stain initially, what to do to keep it healthy and when it came out it was a haemangioma we had questions like “is she always going to have it”?, “is it going to get bigger?”- it was just a lot to take in.

‘I was relieved when I posted the picture on Facebook and someone gave me some advice.

‘A lady messaged me saying “I don’t think it’s a port wine stain, I think it’s something called haemangioma”.

‘It all depends on the location but in Sophia’s case it was very close to her eye and could have affected her sight.

baby with birthmark that turned out to be a tumour
Strangers on Facebook urged Sophia’s mum to ask about a haemangioma (Picture: Caters News Agency)

‘It went from very pale pink to looking like someone poured a pot of blood over her head, it was really swollen, it would bleed.’

Sophia was given medication through the hospital to treat the tumour, which has now almost disappeared.

A year later Sophia’s medication will be reduced to check if the mark regrows.

She’s incredibly lucky that her mum searched for answers and got the tumour treated in time.

‘It took three days going to the hospital because her haemangioma kept bleeding and we couldn’t stop it,’ explained Amanda.

‘Eventually they told us they’d start her on propranolol, but we’d have to stay in the hospital to be monitored.

Sophia following treatment
Sophia following treatment (Picture: Caters News Agency)

‘The medication affects her sleep, you have to be really careful with the dosage because it can affect the blood sugar and the blood pressure so you have to monitor it constantly.

‘We didn’t really know what to do, she is our first child, we wanted to do the best for her, we didn’t know who to reach out to.

‘We can’t really remember her with the full on birthmark- it’s very odd.

‘We’ve been very lucky with people in general, we’ve only had maybe a few people staring and asking, “oh what she done, how did she fall over” and we had to explain to them it’s not an accident it’s a birthmark.

‘We are just grateful she is not old enough to understand that people are talking about her.

‘When she gets older we want to teach her to appreciate it and learn it’s a part of who she is.

‘And to know how much she’s been through at such a young age without realising it – she just doesn’t know how strong she is.

‘It would have done some major damage – because of how quickly it developed and how quickly it grew if we hadn’t have gotten her on a treatment, when we did, she would possibly have damaged the sight in her right eye completely.

‘I think we were very lucky- I dread to think what it could have cause if we had just listen to what the doctors had said, I don’t want to think what it could have done to her if we had just left.’

MORE: Woman bullied for head-to-toe birthmark says new friends made her feel confident enough to go out without makeup

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Instagram now has more gender options so you don’t have to just choose between male and female

instagram has more gender options under 'custom'
There are now more gender options on Instagram (Picture: Getty/Instagram)

Not everyone identifies as male or female. Gender is fluid and to reflect that, Instagram has launched new options for non-conforming users.

Instead of choosing from either male or female, Instagrammers can now select ‘gender non-conforming’ or ‘non-specified’.

The social media photo-sharing app is allowing custom options as part of their Pride month campaign to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.

Instagram is allowing other features to commemorate the month, including hashtags such as #LGBTQ and #equalitymatters showing up in rainbow colours.

And similarly to how Close Friends shows a green ring, anyone using Pride tags will have their Story updated with a rainbow ring for 24 hours.

In a press release, the folks from the ‘Gram said they wanted ‘to be more inclusive and reflective of how people self-identify today’.

instagram has more gender options
The new options on Instagram (Picture: Instagram)

‘This year, we’re celebrating the vibrant LGBTQ+ community that calls Instagram home with #UntoldPride — honouring history, empowering queer expression, and fostering safety across the platform,’ they wrote.

‘We’re rolling out colourful tools to help our community celebrate, updating our gender options in Profile and releasing an LGBTQ+ teen guide in partnership with The Trevor Project.’

instagram has more gender options
The Story will have a rainbow ring if Pride-Related hashtags are used (Picture: Intagram)

The Trevor Project is a suicide prevention organisation and they have teamed up with Instagram to help teens and young people navigate their identity.

The guide covers issues such as privacy, how to support each other online and being a part of the queer community on social media.

They hope that people will use the hashtag #UntoldPride to feel welcomed, come out, and share their experiences of what it means to be LGBTQ+.

World Pride – which started after the Stonewall riots in New York City – is now in its fiftieth year.

instagram has more gender options
Murals around New York city will be archived on LGBT history account (Picture: Instagram)

Instagram is also celebrating the month by collaborating with account @lgbt_history to create 10 murals around the New York.

MORE: Morphe releases rainbow makeup collection to celebrate Pride

MORE: Straight people are very confused about these Pride manicures

MORE: How can you even consider ‘straight pride’ when gay women like me are being attacked?

How I Save: The manager who earns £35K and has £1,000 saved towards a deposit on a house

how lucy, a manager living at home and earning £35k a year, saves her money
Lucy is a 28-year-old PR Manager spending her cash on drinks and Harry Potter merch (Picture: Metro.co.uk)

Quick, how much money is in your savings account right at this moment?

It’s okay if you haven’t got a clue.

It’s also okay if the idea of sharing that number makes you cringe.

Chatting about money still remains a taboo. It’s considered ‘rude’ to ask how much someone earns, and struggling with your finances is meant to be a problem that’s kept personal.

That’s an issue, because a lot of us don’t have a clue when it comes to managing our money.

Should we be investing? How much should we have saved? Are we the only ones constantly worried that we’ve somehow messed up paying tax and will thus be thrown into jail?

We can’t get the answers until we open the conversation around money as a whole.

That’s the aim of our weekly series, How I Save, in which we take a look at how a different person spends and saves, then give them some expert advice so they (and we) can handle money a little better.

This time we’re looking at the bank statements of Lucy (not her real name), a 28-year-old PR manager living in Hornchurch.

How Lucy saves:

I earn £35,000 a year, but in my savings account right now I have £1,000

I’m saving for a deposit for my first house.

The main way I save is giving myself an allowance – I pay for all the things I need at the start of the month; travel ticket, rent etc, then I allow myself a few treats like skincare products, and then the rest goes into a separate account that I don’t have access to, where £50 a week is on a standing order back to me.

Every few months whatever is left goes into my LISA (Lifetime Individual Savings Account).

I try to minimise spending money on lunches out by meal prepping, and limit coffees purchased (though tend to treat myself on a Friday to a soya caramel latte from Starbucks!).

Of course, the biggest way I save is by living with my parents. They only charge me £200 a month ‘rent’ which is far less than if I moved out.

I struggle with saving because up until this point I’ve had a hefty overdraft and credit card to pay off. Now I’m only a month or two from this being all cleared, and everything I’ve been using in paying that off will all be diverted to savings instead.

I have just switched to a new 0% interest card as the free period had run out on my old one.

I am also a clothes fiend; I never buy anything full price, but those emails for an ‘extra 10% off sale’ are killer, and this quite often goes onto the credit card with the knowledge of ‘I can pay it off later’ which is a terrible mentality and a habit I’m trying to break – nothing will feel as good as having my own place!

ella byworth 1 of 3 for Spending illustrations Metro illustrations Ella Byworth/ metro.co.uk
Lucy sticks to a budget and hides money from herself. Smart. (Picture: Ella Byworth/metro.co.uk)

How Lucy spends:

Monthly expenses:

  • £200 rent (living with parents)
  • £246 oyster travelcard (except this month)
  • £56 phone bill (however as of last week have reduced this to a £19 sim-only deal as came to the end of my contract and didn’t need an upgrade just yet)
  • £600-800 into clearing the credit card depending what I’ve got on that month, less the last couple as have got a hen do abroad at the end of April that needs things paying for plus my mum’s birthday, parents’ anniversary and Mother’s Day are within a few weeks of each other in Feb/March

A week of spending:

Monday: £64.20 on my weekly travelcard. I’m on annual leave for two weeks at the end of the month so no point getting my usual monthly ticket in April!

I spend 95p on a carton of soy milk for my porridge, which I keep in my desk drawer at work.

Tuesday: £2.99 on Lemsip drinks from Boots, as a cold is rearing its ugly head, and £1 on a multipack of crisps for my desk drawer.

Wednesday: I go for drinks with my mum at a gig in Camden – £7.50.

Thursday: I pick up some M&S ready meals for tonight’s lunch and dinner, for £6.70.

Friday: This weekend is an anomaly, as I’m away with friends.

I get lunch for £3 at work, then spend £4.50 on two cans of pre-mixed cocktail for the train up to York. I get a £5.85 dinner at Kings Cross station to take on the train too.

I spend £7.55 on a small bottle of vodka and a carton of orange juice to drink once I’ve arrived at the hostel with the other girls.

Saturday: £8.45 for a Starbucks breakfast and coffee. The hostel doesn’t offer vegan options so I got a refund on my breakfast, but spent it here already.

Then it’s £7.90 for lunch at a cafe, and £5 for dinner at a restaurant. They sodded up my dinner so gave to me on the house, meaning I only had to pay for my share of the wine.

£2.50 goes towards a present, and £62.50 on Harry Potter memorabilia (the weekend was for Harry Potter fans).

Then I get three vegan chocolate bars for £4.50.

Sunday: Vegan fry-up at Wetherspoons, £6.20.

Panini and a pot of tea for lunch, £8.

Total: £209.29

How Lucy could save:

We spoke to the experts over at money tracking app Cleo to find out how Bianca could save better.

Note: the advice featured is specific to one individual and doesn’t constitute financial advice. Especially on a London budget.

Main vice

You know this, it’s credit cards. Those sexy, sexy credit cards.

(Mini shout out to anyone paying off credit card debt: there’s an end point & you’ll get there)

Hiding money from yourself is a really good shout, usually, but not if this makes your credit card look shinier and easier to grab.

Get your phone working on your side and clear your saved data so you’re less likely to unconsciously spend with it. That 30 second re-adding in your details might buy you time to check your impulses (rather than reduced Harry Potter merch).

I literally can’t think of better motivation for saving up for a deposit than moving back in with your parents. Every second you feel like you’re regressing back into a teenager, remember that it’s worth it. Keep going!

Where you’re going wrong

You’re under budget this week, which means you are untouchable. I’m going for it anyway.

Nearly 60% of your weekly spend was sunk on your away trip. And this is obviously minus pre-booked travel costs and accommodation.

A group dynamic jacks up the price of any event, and there’s usually one person in any group drinking their mimosa with a pained smile. In your late twenties this only becomes more prominent as a generation forgets they want to buy houses and instead have weddings.

Short of drawing up a spreadsheet of everyone’s salaries, savings plans and weekly budget (sounds dreamy) there’s no alternative to this.

Apart from talking about it. Just saying.

Spending plan

Let’s skip to a world where you’ve paid off your debts. This is what we’re looking at after bills and travel:

Safe to save: £600 a month

At this rate you’ll lock back £10k in a year and a half

Safe to spend: £785 a month / £181 a week / £25 a day

Groceries, social obligations, all the usuals. You only had £50 designated to your budget. That’s not enough.

If this is too high, you can move the rest back into your deposit fund to make your £800 target. Win/win.

Safe to burn: £200 a month

You need a bit more accessible money as a cushion in your account to keep your overdraft and credit cards looking less attractive. This is for deals and impulse spending. Spend it with glee.

Congrats on being so close to getting out, you’re awesome.

How I Save is a weekly series about how people spend and save, out every Thursday. If you’d like to anonymously share how you spend and save – and get some expert advice on how to sort out your finances – get in touch by emailing ellen.scott@metro.co.uk.

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MORE: How I Save: The freelance writer in London who earns £31k a year and has £12 saved

Lidl is selling a pizza oven for your garden for £99.99

Lidl La Hacienda Pizza Oven £99.99 lifestyle pizza-d838
Planning some fancy garden parties? (Picture: Lidl)

Oh, so you’re the type of person who likes to make their pizza from scratch, instead of just ordering in.

Aren’t you fancy.

If that is you (or you have dreams of becoming that person), you can’t settle for just popping your dough in your kitchen oven.

Nope, you’ll need a special pizza oven to really show off your sourdough base.

Handily, you don’t need a load of money to get your own. Lidl is launching their own pizza oven for your garden for under £100 – £99.99, to be exact.

The pizza oven is made from durable steel and is finished in black high temperature paint, so it looks suitably impressive for all the garden pizza parties you’ll now be having.

It’s got a cordierite pizza stone base to cook a 12″ pizza like a pro. Just make sure you keep the pizza in there for long enough, unless you want a floppy slice.

Lidl is selling a pizza oven for your garden for £99.99
You’ll still need to argue over the toppings (Picture: Lidl)

The oven also doubles as a BBQ in case you get fussy guests who don’t fancy Italian food. You just pop on the chrome plated cooking grill and voila, you can barbecue whatever you fancy.

If you’re already envisioning a summer spent outside sipping rosé and eating carefully crafted pizza made for all your friends, you can get your paws on Lidl’s pizza oven from today, 13 June, in store.

We’d recommend moving quickly, though. Don’t let those other pizza planners get there first, or your home-made margherita won’t feel nearly as impressive.

And if you want to take your Italian chef status to another level, Lidl is also selling a pasta-making machine for £14.99.

Or you could always take the easy road and order in. Just saying.

MORE: Asda launches chicken kebab pizza

MORE: Lidl is selling a hammock for £6.99 so you can pretend you’re on holiday year-round

MORE: Frozen vegan pizza with ‘melty stretchy’ cheese to launch in the UK

Bride asks makeup artist to work for free or do it for ‘probably £10’

The 1950s look the bride wanted for free
The 1950s look the bride wanted for free (not her in the image) (Picture: Imgur)

It seems brides are always looking for discounts on things, whether it’s for flowers or a honeymoon.

It makes sense as weddings are expensive. But one bride who asked one of her friends – who works as a makeup artist – to do it free did not get the reaction she was looking for.

The cheeky woman invited the friend, who she hadn’t seen for ten years, to the event, asking whether she could give her a bridal makeover without a fee.

She tried to convince the professional makeup artist to wave the charge, offering her images to be used on her portfolio instead.

But the guest, who charges £75 for a party look, is starting her own salon in London and didn’t need the exposure.

So the bride decided to play ball and offer her £10 at most. Of course, no business person would accept that offer and when the artist declined, the bride-to-be called her a ‘selfish b****’.

Bride asks for free makeup
The initial advert that the bride put out asking students to do her makeup for free (Picture: Imgur)

The text message exchange was shared on Reddit where users weighed in.

Posting a public advert at first, the bride asked whether any students would be up for doing 1950s style hair and make-up for the big day for free.

She then reached out to an old pal for a ‘friend’s discount’, hoping she would do it for free in exchange for exposure and an invite to the wedding, which is three hours away for the makeup guru.

Bride asks for free makeup
(Picture: Imgur)

When the artist turned down the offer of a six-hour round trip, working for free and a bit of wedding food, the bride told her to ‘f*** off’.

‘You really charge that much?!’ she asked. ‘I was hoping you would do it for free… maybe as a wedding present to me.

‘I could probably give you £10 for your travel but if you’re coming to the wedding I don’t really see why I should… I don’t feel you’re being fair.

‘I invited you to my wedding which is only small and I’ve said you could use the pictures you take for your portfolio so I’d be doing you a favour too. Can’t you meet me halfway?’

Bride asks for free makeup
The exchange didn’t end well (Picture: Imgur)

The recipient of the message was shocked that after ten years of not talking, the bride would make such a request.

She wrote: ‘I appreciate that you don’t have a lot of disposable money but if I lived closer, I’d try to help but £10 wouldn’t even cover my petrol for the six-hour journey, let alone my time or products.’

Not happy with the exchange, the bride ended with ‘f*** you’.


MORE: Bride asks male guests to ‘do their business’ in the bush for backyard wedding to save flushes

MORE: Bride asks bridesmaid to dye her ginger hair because it ‘clashes with the colour scheme’ (but that’s not the real reason)

MORE: Bride asks florist to work for free – because she’s already spent thousands on wedding

Deliveroo launches new sauce that tastes just like your dad’s bad barbecues

The burnt sausage sauce
You can buy the sauce now (Picture: Deliveroo)

Summer is coming – which means you’ll have at least one BBQ cooked by your dad, who can’t quite perfect a nice sausage.

If you want to remind him of his failings, you now can with a burnt sausage sauce, courtesy of Deliveroo.

Deliveroo is launching a new limited edition sauce – which is charred in the same style as ‘dad’s grilled meats’.

The sauce is made using a barbecue coal flavoured oil base and cider vinegar.

The two blends are mixed and the base is allowed to smoke, which gives it a BBQ smokey taste.

The sauce also has notes of sage, onion, garlic, celery powder, molasses and activated charcoal.

Someone pouring the sauce on their dinner
It’s meant to taste just like your dad’s bad BBQs (Picture: Deliveroo)

It also has notes of charcoal-coated sausage, designed to taste just like your dad’s barbeque platters (unless your dad is an epic barbecue chef, of course – in which case you’re very lucky).

Boss Hog at Bodean’s said: ‘Every Father’s Day our restaurants are packed with families treating their old man to the finest Kansas City-style slow-smoked, low-cooked barbecue.

‘So when Deliveroo suggested we pay homage to British dads and their culinary gift to the world of burnt sausages, we thought it was a crazy idea. Too crazy to turn down!’

Joe Groves at Deliveroo added: ‘Nothing says dad I love you and forgive you for the many terrible BBQs of my childhood like this limited editions burnt sausage sauce, which is available exclusively from Bodean’s on Deliveroo for Father’s Day.’

The limited edition burnt sausage sauce will come free with every Father’s Day meal bundle ordered on Deliveroo from Bodean’s – so get ordering,  even if it’s just to mock your dad.

MORE: Aldi is selling a gazebo with a bar and it’s perfect for summer parties

MORE: Aldi is selling an 8ft trampoline for £68

Fora is a new work space that focuses on wellness at work

Soho branch of Fora working space
Meeting hospitality and members clubs (Picture: Fora)

Work and wellbeing don’t always go hand in hand.

But with new wellness premium, flexible work space, Fora seems to think otherwise.

Co-founder of the workspace, Katrina Larkin, launched Fora to make it comfortable enough for the everyday millennial worker. A home from home.

It has health in the balance of life and work at its core.

The lighting across the building is circadian, which means that it helps to regulate our natural 24-hour sleep, wake, hunger, alertness, hormone release, and body temperature cycle, keeping us healthy.

The meeting rooms are laid out to feel more for a living than working – and the paint contains no chemicals. Oh, and there are plenty of plants, which is said to have a positive impact on health.

Katrina, who was also one of the co-founders of the Big Chill Festival, has huge plans for the space and says that technology and wellness go hand in hand when thinking about new ways of working.

Fora Soho Offices
Designed for wellness and work (Picture: Fora)

The all-in-one Fora app, exclusively for members, provides wellness classes and personal training and manages bookings in-house, plus communication with other members.

Katrina tells Metro.co.uk: ‘People spend two hours at the very least a day on apps. We’re spending less times on our computers and desktops, but on our mobiles which I find quite fascinating.

‘People say they engage in running now, not with a trainer or running group but with the nought to 5K app.’

Fora Soho
Sleek design to keep everyone comfortable (Picture: Fora)

She continued: ‘You want help on anything, you want to cut out sugar for example, where does any one go? The internet. They download the apps. They go on curated programmes.

‘You have to look at trends. It’s about understanding what the people in your community require. Doing a list, and seeing what they need.’

Fora's Fitzrovia branch
Fitzrovia Branch of Fora (Picture: Fora)

The Soho branch is now officially open.

There are other sites in Clerkenwell, Borough, Reading, Fitzrovia and Spitalfields and soon opening in Spitalfields, Shoreditch and Southwark.

Per month, the prices of owned office desk prices range from £675 to £1,200 according to the location, and open desks range from £375 in a single location to £425 for an open desk across all our locations, which also includes access to gyms, food, meeting room bookings and events at the space.

Fora’s big goal is building a community of like-minded people sharing the space.

Fora and Networking events
Networking is important to Katrina (Picture: Fora)

She said: ‘The Fora app for the space is to build a community, as well as informing people about the opportunities in the building.

‘To make everything work better for them and support them. We have a tonne of monthly wellness events, and we look out for what is inspiring in the knowledge of what our residents require.

‘We’ve done talks on mental wellbeing, gut health and colour therapy – which was very popular. I think wellbeing isn’t just about your internal community, it’s about your external community as well.’

Fora’s workspace is one that intends to bring people here for their start-ups or remote companies, but also functions as a hub to empower the local community.

Before the spaces open up in any new area, Fora’s Guest Experience Managers go out into the local community and create a collection of local businesses and events that engage in the area they are in.

Inclined seats and stairs to create a welcoming environment
It’s all about community (Picture: Fora)

She continued: ‘We’ve looked for the secret hidden gems in the local area so that we can empower people to go out and explore their local area so that they can have their positive and elevated day as members.’

Fora’s latest location in Soho Broadwick Street is already home to Dropbox’s London Head Office and Soho Radio.

It might be the home for you if you spend most of your time at work and need to find more balance in your life.

MORE: Being kinder to yourself can boost your physical and mental wellbeing, study says

MORE: BTS’s Jin praises Big Hit Entertainment for putting their wellbeing first

MORE: Paris Jackson checks herself into treatment facility for the sake of her physical and emotional wellbeing

14 Prime-eligible Father’s Day gifts on Amazon

Amazon Prime Father's Day gifts idea including chocolate, amazon echo and a gift card
(Picture: Amazon)

Don’t panic but… it’s Father’s Day this Sunday.

Yep, that’s right, this year Father’s Day – aka a big celebration that usually sees dads treated to funny mugs, socks and new tech – falls on Sunday 16 June.

If this comes as a surprise to you, don’t worry. To help ease the annual gift-buying panic, we searched Amazon for 14 presents that he will actually want, need and use.

Thankfully Amazon have a whole range of unique Father’s Day gifts for every dad and granddad out there. And best yet, with hundreds of Prime-eligible gifts available, it couldn’t be easier to send a thoughtful gift this Father’s Day.

Here are some of the best Prime-eligible Father’s Day gifts on Amazon – just remember that the sooner you order, the better your chances of a timely arrival.

1. Amazon Gift Card

An Amazon gift card in a striped blue box with a ribbon
(Picture: Amazon)

What do you get when you are looking for a gift for the Dad who has everything already?

Introducing the perfect gift for any Dad who’s difficult to buy for; an Amazon gift card.

Gift cards can be really popular to receive despite many perceiving them as a cop-out gift, because he can buy whatever suits him.

So it’s not surprising this is currently Amazon’s best-selling Father’s Day gift.

Buy through Amazon


2. Echo Dot (3rd Gen) – Smart speaker with Alexa – Charcoal Fabric, £39.99

Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen) - Smart speaker with Alexa - Charcoal Fabric
(Picture: Amazon)

If he doesn’t already own an Alexa-enabled Echo Dot, it’s a foolproof present for this Father’s Day.

Amazon’s voice-controlled assistant can do a lot, from playing his favorite music to answering trivia questions.

It’s a no-brainer buy and don’t just take our word for it. This little device boasts 4.7 star rating out of 5 and has racked up over 14,000 reviews.

Buy through Amazon for £39.99


3. Craft Beer Introductory Mixed Case by Beer Hawk, £29.17

Craft Beer Introductory Mixed Case by Beer Hawk
(Picture: Amazon)

Apart from a new car, a paid off mortgage, or a full head of hair, this collection of craft beer is the ideal gift for Father’s Day.

You’ll be able to treat your Dad to his favourite tipple, or introduce him to something new.

As the case is brimming with 12 handpicked craft beers that are both delicious and easy drinking.

Buy through Amazon for £29.17


4. Fitbit Versa Health & Fitness Smartwatch, £162.89

Fitbit Versa Health & Fitness Smartwatch with Heart Rate, Music & Swim Tracking
(Picture: Amazon)

If you want to surprise him with something special, splurge on the Fitbit Versa Health & Fitness Smartwatch.

This stylish and tech-friendly fitness tracker is the perfect present for anyone trying to reach new health and fitness goals.

Buy through Amazon for £162.89


5. No 1 Dad Dairy Milk, £17.50

No 1 Dad Dairy Milk
(Picture: Amazon)

Show your Dad just how much he means to you with this personalised Father’s Day chocolate from Cadbury.

This slab of classic chocolate is sure to put a smile on his face.

Buy through Amazon for £17.50


6. Kindle Paperwhite, £129.99

Kindle Paperwhite
(Picture: Amazon)

For someone who enjoys reading, the Amazon’s latest Paperwhite Kindle is its best one yet, with an improved thinner design and waterproofing.

You can now also send or receive Kindle books as gifts- nifty eh?

Buy through Amazon for £129.99


7. World’s Best Farter Mug, £6.99

World's Best Farter Mug
(Picture: Amazon)

Can your dad handle a bit of banter? Then he’ll love this mug.

Buy through Amazon for £6.99


8. Mpow Bluetooth Headphones, £33.99

Mpow Bluetooth Headphones
(Picture: Amazon)

How about these wireless bluetooth headphones for the man who’s serous about his exercise routine and exercise playlist?

These headphones are sleek, lightweight, compatible with several devices and the sound quality is also very good.

Buy through Amazon for £33.99


9. Criacr Essential Oil Diffuser, was £35.99 now £17.99

Criacr Essential Oil Diffuser
(Picture: Amazon)

How about helping him transform his space into a sanctuary with this mood-enhancing essential oil diffuser with changing LED lights?

The aroma diffuser has an impressive star rating of 4.4 out of 5 and 2,500 glowing reviews.

Buy through Amazon for £17.99


10. Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote, £39.99

Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote
(Picture: Amazon)

The Amazon Fire TV stick makes the perfect gift as not only are they affordable for most, they offer endless hours of entertainment.

Buy through Amazon for £39.99


11. Father’s Day Unique Gift Can of Jelly Beans, £8.95

Father's Day Unique Gift Can of Jelly Beans
(Picture: Amazon)

Who likes a good Dad joke? You may not laugh at all his jokes, but he might laugh at this tin of beans – and enjoy whats inside.

Buy through Amazon for £8.95


12. Amazon All-new Fire 7 Tablet, £49.99

Amazon All-new Fire 7 Tablet
(Picture: Amazon)

The new all Fire 7 tablet from Amazon is Amazon’s best-selling tablet—now with twice the storage capacity, faster quad-core processor and hands free with Alexa.

It’s a useful and fun gift.

Buy through Amazon for £49.99

13. Stainless Steel Barbecue Tools Set, £23.98

Stainless Steel Barbecue Tools Set
(Picture: Amazon)

Is you Dad King of the grill?

Well, this barbecue set includes more than just a spectacular. Inside this snazzy case he’ll find 19 stainless steel tools, including 4-in-1 spatula, tongs, barbecue fork, table-knife and a silicone basting brush.

It’s the perfect companion for you next family gathering.

Buy through Amazon for £23.98


14. The Sock Exchange Weekend, £13.40

The Sock Exchange Weekend,
(Picture: Amazon)

Socks, they’re original, fun and despite being dubbed as a bland present choice, they’re always a winner no matter the occasion.

This playful gift box contains six pairs of odd stripey cotton socks – and it’s an absolute steal costing just £13.40.

Buy through Amazon for £13.40

MORE: The ultimate Father's Day gift guide

MORE: 8 dream Father's Day holiday destinations for dads who love to travel

Marmite the dog was saved by vets after swallowing two whole kebabs

Marmite the cocker spaniel.
Marmite is doing okay now (Picture: SWNS)

A dog was saved by vets after he swallowed two chicken kebabs with the wooden skewers still intact.

Marmite the cocker spaniel ate the two kebabs behind his owner’s back.

Unfortunately for the 11-year-old dog, he also swallowed the skewers and was soon in agony as they got stuck in his throat and stomach.

His owner, Sharon Brown, rushed him to a 24-hour emergency hospital after finding Marmite had helped himself to the takeaway leftovers from her bin.

Marmite underwent an emergency three-hour operation to remove the skewers – with chicken and peppers still attached – at the Avonvale Veterinary Centre in Warwick.

Sharon, from Moreton Morrell, Warks, said she found the gluttonous pooch tucking into the meaty treat last week.

She added: ‘I went into the kitchen at around 11pm and saw Marmite swallowing something down as quickly as possible.

‘I noticed the bin was open and I knew straight away he’d helped himself to the leftovers of our kebab take-away.

‘Within five or ten minutes he was clearly in trouble. He was gagging, trying to stretch out from tip to toe and was wobbly and falling over.

‘I took him straight to Avonvale and they acted so quickly; within 15 minutes of arrival they were anaesthetising him and getting ready to operate.

The skewers eaten by Marmite the cocker spaniel
The kebabs he swallowed (Picture: SWNS)

‘They were brilliant, they were all heroes on the night.

‘When I went in to see Marmite after the operation they showed me the two kebabs that they had removed.

‘It was amazing. I’d obviously caught him in the act and he’d just gobbled them down as quickly as possible without even chewing them.’

Veterinary surgeon Elly McPhee, who led the operation, said: ‘The first thing we did was put a video camera down Marmite’s oesophagus and halfway down we found a chicken kebab complete with a long, wooden skewer.

‘There was even chicken and peppers still attached to it so he had obviously swallowed it whole.

‘It was lodged hard and we were unable to retrieve it, which is why Marmite needed an emergency operation.

‘The longer the kebab was in there, the more risk there was of the skewer rupturing something or causing infection.

‘The only possible way of removing the kebab was by going into the stomach and pulling it down, through and finally out.

‘However, as soon I’d gone into the stomach I realised there was a second kebab and skewer lodged in there too, so we ended up removing both.’

It’s not the first time the vets has come to the rescue of Marmite and Sharon after the dog was admitted on two previous occasions.

During one visit, the team quickly diagnosed Marmite with the potentially fatal Seasonal Canine Illness and their swift treatment saved his life.

On another occasion, they referred Marmite to Willows Veterinary Centre, in Solihull, West Mids., who removed one of the discs from his spine to prevent him becoming paralysed in his back legs.

Sharon added: ‘He’s such a lucky dog.

‘He’s done so many things and got into so many scrapes but he just seems indestructible.’

MORE: Deliveroo launches new sauce that tastes just like your dad’s bad barbecues

MORE: Bride asks makeup artist to work for free or do it for ‘probably £10’

Students leave notes around campus begging people to stop feeding their university cat

Poster of Cheeto the fat cat, with the words 'stop feeding this cat'
Cheeto, the ginger cat who hangs out around the Physics building, is looking more and more like a cheese puff (Picture: UC Davis College of Letters and Science)

Students at the University of California, Davis, love their cat Cheeto, who they found as a skinny little kitten on campus.

The physics students were lucky enough to keep him as a communal cat who they now dote on.

But hey’ve noticed that their beloved feline is gaining a bit of weight, despite not upping his food supply.

The ginger cat has been noticeably getting more ‘plump’ and the students figure that other people have been giving Cheeto extra meals.

So now they’ve left posters around the university pleading others not to feed the friendly kitty who normally greets pupils and teachers by snuggling up around their legs.

They wrote: ‘He has become far too overweight and for his health, please do not feed him — no matter how much he begs!

‘And he will beg. Because he knows we are suckers!

Cheeto looking plump
He certainly is looking plump (Picture: UC Davis College of Letters and Science)

‘We quite like this cat. He provides valuable emotional support when physics shatters our souls.’

Cheeto first turned up to the art building then made his way to the physics department.

Students joked that he made the journey because he ‘heard rumours of better accommodations and funding in physics’.

The creature has become a great source of comfort among the group but now they worry about his health.

Chart, comparing Cheeto's cross-section, squirrel heart disease risk, and the additional food given
Do you understand this graph? (Picture: UC Davis College of Letters and Science)

They have a chart to regulate Cheeto’s eating habits, making sure a designated feeder is at hand at meal times.

But now with others giving him plenty to chow down, Cheeto is eating much more than usual. Whatever he doesn’t consume is being eaten by squirrels, ‘giving them heart disease,’ said the students.

So, in typical science student fashion, the students drew up a chart, comparing Cheeto’s cross-section, squirrel heart disease risk, and the additional food given.

To provide a visual representation for the less science-y kids, they printed and annotated a diagram pointing out which stage of the feline body condition Cheeto is at.

annotated diagram pointing out which stage of the feline body condition Cheeto is at
That’s a bit easier to read (Picture: UC Davis College of Letters and Science)

With Cheeto being on the heavier end of the scale, the students hope the images will encourage others to stop the extra meals and allow them to keep their kitty therapy going on campus.

MORE: Pompom the fat cat wins top slimming award after being put on strict diet

MORE: Fat cat Dina is looking for a loving home where she’ll be helped to shed some excess weight

MORE: My cats have taught me more about true love than any man

Women tell us why they love Nike’s plus-size mannequins

Nike's plus size mannequin
‘I know plenty of larger ladies that are fit and healthy’ (Picture: Nike)

Last week Nike introduced plus-size mannequins to it’s London NikeTown branch and people had opinions. Strong opinions.

Predictably, there was backlash. People on social media claimed that the brand was ‘promoting obesity’ or pushing an ‘unhealthy’ message.

An article by Tanya Gold in the Telegraph claimed that the ‘obese’ mannequins were ‘selling women a dangerous lie’.

The critics might be loud, but they are actually in the minority. A new study has found that an overwhelming majority of people think Nike’s mannequins are a really good thing.

According to a survey conducted by Golfsupport.com 83% of people believe more sportswear brands should follow the example set by Nike and include plus-size mannequins in their advertising.

41% of the 1,424 Brits surveyed said plus-size mannequins make them feel proactive and the same amount said the mannequins make them feel inspired.

A huge 90% of people feel more needs to be done in the sports industry to promote inclusivity and shapes of all sizes.

Athletic apparel is displayed on mannequins in the window of a Lululemon Athletica Inc. store in New York, U.S., on Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015. Lululemon Athletica Inc. is scheduled to release second-quarter earnings figures on Sept. 10. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images
‘The mannequins that we normally see are unrealistically toned and tiny’ (Picture: Getty)

Michelle Elman is a body confidence coach and fitness enthusiast. She thinks Nike’s mannequins are a huge step in the right direction.

‘No one wants to leave the house in clothes that make them feel uncomfortable – fat people are the same,’ Michelle tels Metro.co.uk.

‘More than that, in order to be able to workout properly, plus-size people deserve not just supportive workout kit, but beautiful choices.

‘It’s important we get rid of the notion that shaming people leads to better health and that you can predict someone’s health by what they look like.’

Becky Morris is a plus-size gym bunny. She loves spinning, body pump classes and playing badminton – she hits the gym three or four times every week, and thinks visibility of plus-sized fitness clothing is really important.

‘The mannequins are a great idea because, firstly, they help to normalise a body shape that you see way more frequently in real life,’ says Becky.

‘The mannequins that we normally see are unrealistically toned and tiny, which can be really ostracizing if your body doesn’t look like that.

‘They’re also great because they give you a realistic view of what this product would actually look like on a body like mine – rather than having to just guess and hope.

‘They are a win-win in my opinion. If young girls can go into a shop and see that having a body like that is normal and OK, that could make a huge difference.’

A slim Nike mannequin
‘Exercise should be 100% inclusive and accessible to all, regardless of body type’ (Picture: Getty)

We asked Twitter for opinions about the plus-size mannequins and the response was overwhelmingly positive – it seems this is the diverse representation that fitness lovers have been crying out for.

‘Most of the female population are not as tall as the mannequins we normally see, let alone as slim,’ says Carrie.

‘More visibility of different body types is very much needed. Accepting [and] representing women as they are, not how the industry wants them to be, is critical for our mental health.’

Mel is a personal trainer, she’s also a size 14/16 in fitness clothes.

‘I’m fitter now than I was when I was a size 10 professional dancer,’ she explains.

‘This isn’t normalising obesity at all, this is encouraging women of all shapes and sizes to buy from Nike – should’ve been done sooner.

‘I know plenty of larger ladies that are fit and healthy, I also know thinner ladies that are very unhealthy!

‘Encouraging people to exercise is the first step in getting them to have a healthier mindset.’

‘I’m 54, have been on both ends of the weight chart and had decades of diet and fitness culture telling me I don’t belong in a pair of leggings or wetsuit,’ says fitness blogger Jo Mosely.

‘Moving joyfully helps you become friends with your body as it is now. All women deserve and should be encouraged to feel good.’

‘I think they are great,’ says sport and exercise psychologist Dr Josie Perry.

‘I see many everyday athletes struggle because they don’t have an athletic self-identity. Having realistic role models and images out there helps them feel like they deserve to be doing sport too.’

‘Whether you’re a size 10 or a 20, exercise is important [and] necessary for mental and physical health,’ says freelance writer Laura Johnson.

‘Exercise should be 100% inclusive [and] accessible to all, regardless of body type. Nike is not encouraging obesity, they are encouraging [and] normalising exercise, whatever your body type.’

‘I’m pleased to see the mannequins,’ says Helen, a councillor from Cornwall.

‘I’m a size 16 runner and not only do I want to buy clothing that fits me, I occasionally want to see it modelled.

‘The outcry against the mannequins is basically people saying that sport isn’t for everyone.’

Tweet about Nike's mannequin
‘Showing a range of body type doesn’t automatically mean they’re promoting an “unhealthy” image’ (Picture:Twitter/_AStokes_)

Nicki Louise James is an entrepreneur and brand stylist – she also describes herself as plus-size.

‘When you walk into a shop as a woman, so often we’re presented with clothing on stick-thin mannequins for that so-called perfect look.

‘But what Nike has done is promote a healthier outlook for larger women, and that should be celebrated.

‘As a size 18 curvier woman, I also have an underactive thyroid, which means that I struggle to control my weight. Do I still exercise? Yes, I do – I run a lot.

‘What we should remember is that every woman is beautiful at every different size and there should be a choice for everyone.

‘Who says because you’re a size 4-6 that you’re healthy? And are we now saying that larger women aren’t allowed to exercise? Surely that’s missing the whole point?’

Hannah Wilkes is a presenter and reporter at Sky Sports, she wants people to stop equating a certain size with being healthy.

‘Showing a range of body type doesn’t automatically mean they’re promoting an “unhealthy” image,’ explains Hannah.

‘Think of the variety of body shapes you saw whilst running the marathon. Look at the different builds on a netball court. Being above a size 12 doesn’t automatically mean you’re unfit.’

Of course, not everyone is going to agree. TV Executive Ed Scott had worries that the mannequins will normalise ‘unhealthy’ body types.

‘Regardless of being body positive, it is unhealthy to be overweight. We want to promote a healthy image surely?’ asked Ed.

‘I am just saying that being overweight is not healthy,’ he continued.

‘Surely we want people to aspire to being the optimum weight/BMI? If we say you’ll be fine if you have that figure they could have serious health issues later on.

‘It’s great to have training tops for everyone to get fit though.’

But – according to those survey figures, Ed’s worries are not shared by many. The study found that 80% of Brits do not believe plus-size mannequins glorify obesity.

Aishah is a paediatric doctor, a qualified personal trainer and she runs her own weight loss coaching business. She’s really passionate about women’s health and thinks it’s important for people to understand that health isn’t only about weight.

‘A weight loss journey is often more than just about losing weight,’ she tells Metro.co.uk.

‘There can be a whole heap of underlying issues, situations and worries that play a role in the habits people have that affect their health.

‘I find a lot of women saying they feel uncomfortable to go to the gym because of their size, so to have a big, influential company demonstrating that sportswear is for everyone, goes a long way in showing that we should all be inclusive.

‘People in the UK – of all sizes – don’t exercise enough. We should all be doing everything we can to spread the message that it is OK for people to move – regardless of their size.

‘Our society has programmed us to think slim is better and anything outside of that doesn’t deserve the same respect or status.

‘That needs to change because fat shaming further damages the confidence and self esteem many people already have issues with.’

As a doctor, Aishah would never downplay or underestimate the possible health implications of obesity, but she says that shouldn’t be a concern when it comes to these mannequins.

‘A point to mention is that yes, obesity and a high BMI are linked to a whole range of medical problems.

‘But I believe the focus should be on improving health habits, first and foremost, in a healthy way and as a side effect of that people will notice weight loss, if that is something they are going for.

‘The weight loss and fitness industry is driven by the notion that we need to be thin, not by the fact we need to live a healthy lifestyle to be in the best shape possible to enjoy all the things we love.’

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Bride messages makeup artist homophobic abuse after finding out she’s gay

The homophobic messages
The homophobic messages were horrible (Picture: Kristiantayyy)

A woman has gone viral on Twitter after she shared a screenshot of homophobic messages from a bride who wanted her to do her wedding makeup.

Kristian received a text from a women asking whether she was available to do her wedding makeup, as she had been recommended by a friend.

But after Kristian explained her prices, the woman had just one question to ask: Whether she was gay.

Kristian said that yes, she was gay, but couldn’t understand what that had to do with the booking.

And then she received an unbelievable response that’ll make you feel like you’re back in the 1900s.

The woman replied: ‘Oh I don’t want a gay person doing my wedding.

‘I saw your Facebook and couldn’t tell if you were or weren’t gay.’

Instead of getting angry, Kristian simply replied: ‘Okay that’s totally fine, you have a nice day!’

But the woman didn’t stop there.

A screenshot of the woman asking for makeup prices
The woman had asked for makeup prices (Picture: Kristiantayyy)

She continued: ‘I still have more questions. How can you be a latina woman and be gay?

‘You do know being gay is a sin correct.

‘I will pray for you my friend. I’m sorry that you’ve chosen a path that’s going to send you straight to hell.

‘I think you do beautiful makeup but I just can’t have someone who’s gay being a part of my special day.

An image of the homophobic messages
She then asked if she was gay (Picture: Kristiantayyy)

‘The wedding is in a church and I don’t want you walking into my church.

‘If you at any chance change your mind about being gay let me know please so I can book you.’

Yes, she really had the audacity to send that last part.

Kristian didn’t respond to the messages and instead shared them to Twitter, writing: ‘Openly sharing who I am with the world is my choice; a choice i will never apologize for.

The awful messages she received
She said she’d ‘pray’ for her Picture: Kristiantayyy)

‘I love what I do and who I am. Today I was taken back a little bit. Homophobia is a real issue still in 2019. Please just be kind to everyone you meet.’

The tweet received more than 37,000 retweets and 169,000 likes, and loads of supportive messages.

One person said: ‘What a disgusting human being. Well done for staying so professional, even though they didn’t deserve it!’

Another said: ‘Sorry to hear that this happened to you, your responses were excellent though.’

In other news, can we just take a moment to appreciate how wonderfully talented Kristian is at makeup?

Here’s one of her looks:

That lady is definitely missing out.

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Twitter is talking about using hand sanitiser over washing with water – but which is better?

columnist Ann Marie Cox revealed on the social media platform that she once skipped washing her hands 'because of the lateness'
(Picture: Twitter/Getty)

Body-washing rituals seem to be the topic of conversation on Twitter of late.

When a user brazenly admitted they didn’t wash their legs most days, many of us started scrubbing our limbs even harder in the shower.

Now the discussion has turned to hand washing. When columnist Ann Marie Cox revealed on the social media platform that she skipped washing her hands ‘because of the lateness’, users went into meltdown.

The 46-year-old from Minnesota, U.S, was due for surgery and says she didn’t have time to wash with soap and water after going to the loo, instead choosing a hand sanitiser.

Naturally, people had thoughts.

‘It would have taken you like an extra 30 seconds to wash your hands but nah, guess we’re gonna bring back the bubonic plague because people like you think cleanliness is an inconvenience,’ commented one person.

It’s not the first time the debate of soap and water versus sanitiser option has been discussed.

So which one is actually superior to the other?

They both have different purposes – handwash removes germs and bacteria, it doesn’t kill it. When washing your hands with soap, dirt and germs trapped in the natural oils of the skin are lifted and suspended in water. But while washing your hands doesn’t immediately kill bacteria, the process of lathering and the friction of washing away the germs make it very effective.

On the other hand, alcohol-based sanitisers are proven to kill bacteria and viruses by softening the bacterial membrane and rendering it ineffective.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), alcohol-based hand sanitiser is superior to soap and water in hospital and clinic-like settings because medical professionals work in sterile settings and are required to clean their hands constantly throughout the day.

Male doctor using hygiene hand wash in hospital room
Healthcare professionals may choose to use sanitiser over washing as washing can dry hands out (Picture: Getty)

Over-washing can cause hands to dry out, crack and bleed, which allows germs to enter the body. In these cases sanitiser is preferred.

Most of us are probably not doctors, though, so in other situations, soap and water is recommended, especially where visible dirt or grease is concerned.

The CDC also suggests that using handwash after using the toilet is better because this type of soap is designed to effectively remove contaminants such as faecal microorganism. Basically, wash your hands if you don’t want poo particles everywhere.

In the food industry, too, washing hands is recommended as workers may have proteins and other fatty ingredients on their hands, which hand sanitiser isn’t as effective at getting rid of.

Most people are worried about colds and flu spreading and in these cases, sanitiser may be preferred as alcohol proponents kill the pathogens that can cause the virus.

Where water and soap aren’t available, sanitiser is certainly an appealing option, especially as the bottles are compact.

How effective hand washing is depends on the technique.

The NHS recommends washing your hands for 20 seconds, which is longer than it sounds. It also suggests washing for the length of time it takes to sing happy birthday twice (how handy).

In case you wanted a visual representation of best practice, here is a how-to video.

We wonder what other parts of the body people are not washing. Soon to be revealed on Twitter.

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Echo Falls releases new white wine and rum fusion for £3.99

The new wine and rum fusion
The new wine costs £3.99 (Picture: Echo Falls)

Echo Falls has just released a new wine that comes mixed with rum.

The Echo Falls White Wine & Rum Fusion tastes like coconut and pineapple, making it the perfect summer drink.

Of course, we all know not to mix drinks if we want a good night out – but this wine has a pretty low ABV of 9%, so it’s not too heavy.

The bottles are available in B&M, and they’re super cheap at just £3.99.

They’ll then go on sale at Morrisons for £6 – so if you want a good deal B&M is your best offer.

The wine tastes like coconut and pineapple
It apparently tastes like coconut and pineapple (Picture: Echo Falls)

The new wine has been shared across Twitter and Facebook, where people have been getting really excited for it.

One person said it was the ‘perfect flavour combination’ and that it was ‘a holiday in a bottle’.

Another said: ‘We must try this sounds lovely for the summer nights.’

This release comes after Malibu, known for their lovely white rum, released a new Strawberry Spritz.

The drink, which is said to be ‘bursting with the taste of strawberry and a drop of coconut’, comes in a 75cl bottle with an alcohol volume of 11%, and they cost £9.50 each.

The booze will be available both in stores and online at Tesco.

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These sex themed birthday cakes are certainly NSFW


A US bakery has become infamous for its sexually explicit and hilarious cakes.

Le’ Bakery Sensual in Denver, Colorado, has built a reputation for ‘baking anything, as long as it’s not malicious’.

It was launched in 1981 by John Spotz, 56, who said: ‘We’re all experts in making genitalia in icing, breasts, vaginas…penises, scrotums, assholes, all that fun stuff.

‘A detailed penis or labia only takes me about five minutes. I’ve been making those for scarily close to four decades.’

Usually, the cakes go down really well – but recently there was a bit of a mishap over a woman’s bum.

John said: ‘Recently a woman ordered a cake for her boyfriend, she wanted us to create a likeness of her, naked on a stripper pole, with a dollar bill and a big marijuana joint.

One of the NSFW cakes
The bakery has made some NSFW cakes (Picture: John Spotz / SWNS)

‘To speak bluntly her butt was gigantic. The biggest butt you’ve ever seen on a human being, and she said “don’t forget to make my butt look big”, and I said “oh, I noticed already.”

‘As it turned out she didn’t know her boyfriend as well as she thought she did, he called in furious, complaining about how “disgusting and offensive” the cake was.

‘She called later and asked us to tell a white lie – we had to pretend we’d got the order wrong, when actually we’d made exactly what she’d asked for.

A woman's body in cake form
They’re pretty risky… (Picture: John Spotz / SWNS)

‘She paid us for the cake and the boyfriend was pacified. We all had a laugh about that one.’

Sometimes it gets political at Le’ Bakery Sensual – and they’ve been featured in cake dispute articles related to gay marriage several times in their 38-year run.

‘Journalists call us to get the more liberal or comical view, we’ve had everyone from Newsweek, CBS News and Vice on the phone’, said John.

‘During the last election I was asked to make a cake of Hillary Clinton in prison, which was pretty funny, because I’m the biggest Hilary Clinton fan ever.

The cake the woman had asked for, but her husband hated it
The one with the big butt… (Picture: John Spotz / SWNS)

‘But I decided that I would do it, and put a lot of effort into it.

‘I really went to town on the details, her pantsuit was a work of art on that one, the hair, everything.

‘The detail is what we love, when people ask for really specific things that’s the most fun for us.

‘We got an award from Playgirl magazine about ten years ago for the “most realistic semen” at an erotic bakery in the USA.

A dominatrix cake
The cakes are pretty controversial (Picture: John Spotz / SWNS)

‘We get a lot of requests for jokes about what a person is like in bed, they’ll usually bring a few photographs, so we can achieve a likeness.

‘One of our most glorious cakes was for a fetish ball, it was a life-sized, hog-tied man in a leather harness and ropes, plenty of genitalia on show.

‘It took four people to get it in the car.

‘That was a great one in terms of customer reaction. We delivered it to the ball and met the birthday boy.

A 'choke me daddy' cake
‘Choke me daddy’ (Picture: John Spotz / SWNS)

‘He was wearing chaps with nothing underneath, a leather collar and all that, gigantic boots, quite the outfit.’

At Le’ Bakery Sensual the kitchen is open for public view.

John said: ‘Everyone who walks in can see us making these big butts, and genitals. They’ll stop in their tracks and ask, “what the are you making back there?”

‘It gets people laughing.’

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Morrisons launches gigantic surf and turf to celebrate Father’s Day

The gigantic surf and turf
The surf and turf is massive (Picture: Morrisons)

Morrisons is launching a super-sized surf and turf this weekend to celebrate Father’s Day.

The deal includes one Morrisons The Best Tomahawk steak and two Black Tiger Prawns for £20.

The prawns are 25cm long and weigh 111g each – which is more than eight times the size and 27 times the weight of a cold water prawn.

They’re sourced from Mekong delta in Vietnam.

The steak is also massive, weighing over 32oz, which is the equivalent of nearly four average rump steaks.

The prawns weigh 111g
The prawns weigh 111g each and the steak 32oz (Picture: Morrisons)

It’s served on the bone, 21 day matured and is hand prepared by Morrisons butchers.

Morrisons is introducing the £20 deal following the success of the Father’s Day Tomahawk in 2018 which saw the supermarket sell over 10,000 steaks over one weekend.

However, this deal will only be available from today, 13 June, to 16 June.

Jodie Bolland, Senior Meat Buyer at Morrisons says: ‘The giant surf and turf is our meatiest challenge yet for Dads on Father’s Day. We hope they enjoy it this weekend – whether they’re attempting it solo or enjoying it as a family meal.’

The Giant Surf & Turf will be available in the majority of Morrisons supermarkets this weekend – but it’s first come first serve, so if you want to get your hands on it, you better act fast.

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