Healthcare
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic reached our shores, there were calls for spending on public health to be increased. Health committees in both Houses of Parliament, as well as the usual faces at the King’s Fund and Health Foundation, warned that any cuts to the public health budget would be a ‘false economy’ that would ... Continue reading
Lifestyle Economics
F. A. Hayek’s motivation for writing The Road to Serfdom (1944) was his fear that measures needed to conduct World War II would be retained in peacetime. The state took control of large parts of the economy during the war and Hayek’s book was a rebuttal to those who saw the success of the war ... Continue reading
Research
Summary Advocates of minimum pricing predicted that it would have an almost immediate impact in Scotland, with modelling forecasting 58 fewer deaths and 1,299 fewer hospital admissions in the first year. In the eight months after minimum pricing was introduced, alcohol-related mortality fell at the same rate in Scotland as it did in England and ... Continue reading
Lifestyle Economics
An article published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives recently outlined the theoretical justifications for taxing sugary drinks. The authors write with clarity and, if their assumptions are correct, the economics is sound. Their argument runs as follows. Obesity is a growing health problem in many countries. It is caused by calorie consumption exceeding calorie ... Continue reading
Research

A critique of paternalism

A ban on opening a new supermarket is evidence that people want a new supermarket, for if they did not there would be no need for a ban. The same is true of chlorinated chicken, gambling machines and many other products and activities that we are told need to be banned or restricted. It is ... Continue reading
Research

Why banning energy drinks doesn't make sense

The government has proposed a ban on the sale of energy drinks to minors on the basis that these products have high levels of sugar and caffeine, and can be damaging to health. Many energy drinks are low in sugar or contain no sugar at all. Even full sugar energy drinks do not contain more ... Continue reading
Lifestyle Economics
It seems unfair to call it a sweet shop. In the shopping centre north of Charlottenberg in south-western Sweden, barely four miles from Norway and less than 90 minutes’ drive from Oslo, is a candy superstore. Arrayed across 3,500 sq metres of floor space – half a football pitch – are aisle upon aisle of ... Continue reading
Research
This study calculates how much UK foreign aid was spent (in 2018 prices) on lifestyle interventions targeting smoking, drinking, eating and sedentary behaviour.UK taxpayers spent £44.6million on ‘nanny state’ foreign aid projects between 2005 and 2018, spread over 35 projects in 47 countries. The three biggest recipients were China (£7.9million), India (£2.2 million) and Colombia ... Continue reading

Christopher Snowdon quoted in the Daily Mail

"Health warnings on salt packets will do nothing for public health and everything to continue infantilising the British public, eroding individual responsibility for what we choose to eat", says Christopher Snowdon, Head of Lifestyle Economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs. Christopher was responding to a group of doctors who have demanded the warnings, suggesting ... Continue reading

Christopher Snowdon writes for The Telegraph

US lawmakers are exploiting a "contrived panic" around vaping to bring in the excessive regulation they have always wanted, argues Christopher Snowdon, Head of Lifestyle Economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs. Writing for the Telegraph online, Christopher says that while the media and the Centre for Disease Control have "played dumb" on acknowledging the ... Continue reading