Lifestyle Economics

Embrace Innovation to Tackle Obesity

Matthew Lesh writes for City AM

IEA Director of Public Policy and Communications Matthew Lesh has written for City AM discussing calls for more government intervention to tackle obesity.

Matthew wrote:

“Calls for interventionist policies like sin taxes and regulation are wide of the mark. This approach fails to change our biological instincts and are largely ineffective. Take sugary soft drink taxes. They may reduce purchases, but there is a real lack of evidence that this impacts overall obesity rates. There is inevitably a substitution effect towards other sugar-rich foods. Or take the proposed advertising ban. The government’s own research found it would reduce children’s calorie intake by just 2.8 per day. Hardly groundbreaking.

“But what if I told you about a solution proven in randomised controlled trials to reduce body weight by 15 per cent to 20 per cent?

“It already exists. I am, of course, talking about Ozempic (also known as Wegovy) and Mounjaro. Human ingenuity has already discovered the solution to the obesity crisis. These miracle drugs completely change people’s habits towards food in an overwhelmingly positive way.”

Read Matthew’s full piece here.