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
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
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
Research

Why the policy of food reformulation is hard to stomach

Under the UK government’s policy of ‘reformulation’, food products are subject to government targets for the reduction of salt, sugar and calories. It puts Public Health England in the position of monitoring and effectively regulating the composition of virtually every part of the prepared food supply, including not only ready-meals and supermarket biscuits but also ... Continue reading
Research

Introducing a Deposit Return Scheme to the UK

Summary: A UK-wide deposit return scheme (DRS) can be expected to increase recycling rates for beverage bottles and cans from 70-75 per cent to 85-90 per cent, but at a disproportionate cost. A DRS is expected to cost over £1 billion in its first year and £814 million per annum thereafter. The tangible economic benefits ... Continue reading
Research

IEA releases report on junk food and its definition

Summary: The term ‘junk food’ has no legal definition and its use by campaigners gives a misleading impression of how much food and drink will be affected by government proposals in the Childhood Obesity Strategy. Policies that restrict ‘junk food’ will actually restrict HFSS food (high in fat, sugar and salt) as defined by the ... Continue reading
Research

Sin taxes can cost poor families up to ten times more than they cost the wealthy

Summary: There should be no debate about whether taxes on food, alcohol, tobacco and soft drinks (‘sin taxes’) are regressive. It can be easily demonstrated empirically, and countless studies have done so. As with most indirect taxes, they take a greater share of income from the poor than from the rich in all plausible scenarios. ... Continue reading
Research

Estimating the size and potential of the UK Cannabis Market

Summary:  This report aims to provide estimates of: (a) the size and value of the UK’s illicit cannabis market in 2016/17 (b) the size and value of the market if cannabis were legalised and regulated (c) the annual tax revenue that a legal cannabis market would yield Our best estimate suggests that 255 tonnes of ... Continue reading
Research

WHO proposals on sin taxes could increase a British family’s food bills by nearly £500 each year

Summary:  The World Health Organisation (WHO) has called on governments to raise the price of sugar-sweetened beverages by twenty per cent and to increase taxes on alcohol. It also supports taxes on food that is high in sugar, salt and/or fat. Michael Bloomberg, a WHO Ambassador, has set up the Task Force on Fiscal Policy ... Continue reading