The issue of overweight children, always a popular topic, was widely reported this week.

The Local Government Association highlighted the public costs of obesity and said social services would increasingly have to intervene.

Several papers leapt on the most severe possibility: as the Daily Mail put it, "Overweight youngsters may be taken into care". The Sun had graphic depictions of the costs, including an oversized coffin and "999 stretchers splitting".

GP and Times contributor Martyn Lobley confirmed there was a problem, revealing he saw "at least one fat child a day" in his surgery.

"They will have been brought along to talk about a cough, a verruca, anything apart from their weight," he observed.

Big business

The Guardian noted that Lewisham council had recently imported a 44-inch-wide cremator from the US - usually coffins measure 16-20 inches across - and attracted customers from around England.

Other health coverage was dominated by drug availability. The Observer picked up on a new line of defence for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence with an "explosive intervention" from the body's chair.

Sir Michael Rawlins took a pop at drugs firms, claiming some "charged what they thought they could get away with".

Greedy firms

His words were repeated in The Sun and Daily Mail under headlines accusing "greedy drug firms".

NICE chief executive Andrew Dillon also took up the case, making clear to Panorama that any "postcode lottery" was not of his making.

Taking a practical approach, the Financial Times money supplement offered a solution to the problem for those with means. Private medical insurers were now offering "drugs only" policies, it said, and additional cancer drugs were being included - starting at about£30 per month.

Sir Michael Rawlins defends NICE on