2 thoughts on “State paternalism rests on shaky philosophical foundations”

  1. Posted 28/08/2018 at 14:07 | Permalink

    While I agree with the thrust of the argument, this statement is not true:

    “On this point, recent academic literature is clear: unhealthy lifestyles, far from putting a financial strain on the NHS, actually reduce it, over the lifetime of the individual.”

    The academic paper linked to does not say this. It merely concludes that reducing obesity and smoking levels will not avoid rising medical costs – a very different conclusion to the one suggested. In fact, there have been many studies and they differ in their findings- some imply rising costs, some imply falling costs. Some look just at medical costs, some look at other costs as well.

    It is fair, however, to say that it cannot be be assumed that reducing smoking and obesity levels will save the NHS money, but neither can you reasonably assume the opposite.

  2. Posted 30/08/2018 at 15:19 | Permalink

    Checked out the IEA website for the first time today, prompted by a BBC radio piece on banning energy drink sales to minors, with an IEA rep countering the proposal, then saw this piece!

    When it comes to “shaky foundations” perhaps these include your claim that “recent academic literature is clear”…because a parallel paper on the specific link that you yourself included unequivocally concludes “Having diabetes is associated with substantially higher lifetime medical expenditures despite being associated with reduced life expectancy”

    See: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25147254
    also check out

    You also, very rightly in my opinion, raise the informed consent issue, so would I be correct in assuming you’re a strong proponent of mandatory “traffic light” food/drink labelling, alongside complementary education on the health risks of sugar, saturated/trans fats etc??

    Very coincidentally, like you am a keen mountaineer, so intrigued to know what/how the wheeler dealing free market approach the IEA seems to promote to the world will actually help protect the rapidly dwindling cryosphere, beautiful mountain glaciers and icefields included.

    All best


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