These people really are health fascists

Tim Lang:

They say that simple attempts to change people’s behaviour ignore the complex range of factors that have led to Britain’s obesity rate rising, from the low price of fatty and sugary food to its availability on every street corner.

Their complaint is that by using \”Nudge\” style policies, the Government isn\’t doing enough.

In a paper published at on Friday, Prof Tim Lang and Dr Geof Rayner from the Centre for Food Policy at City University say it is now widely accepted that obesity is caused by several factors including diet, physical activity, genetics, over-supply of food, marketing and consumer choice.

But they claim that rather than drawing up detailed action plans and drafting regulations to deal with the problem, the British Government alone is focusing on the fashionable discipline of behavioral economics known as “nudge” theory.

So what\’s the sort of thing they\’re thinking should be in such regulations and action plans?

The authors concede that social norms have a role in determining consumer behaviour, but ask: “How can ‘nudge’ reshape the agri-food business’s long commitment to lower the price of fat, soft drinks, or high calorie readymade foods or the ubiquitous ‘offer’ of food at every newsagent, station platform, and petrol station?”

I assume that they\’d like to ban the \”offer\” of food in such places. Which is really rather moving from Nanny to Fascist, isn\’t it?

16 thoughts on “These people really are health fascists”

  1. They do realise that a person doesn’t have to accept an ‘offer’ is they don’t want to..?

    No, they don’t. They know that they’re capable of driving past an Esso and not having a Ginsters, but those little people aren’t. Their view is of 3 groups in society: the little people who are incapable of rational though, the corporations that feed on the little people and the new paternalist aristocracy that stops the corporations from doing so and sets the little people free to do the sorts of things they should be doing.

    And all 3 mainstream parties have plenty of these people, from socialists that want arts spending pushed up to Cameron with his attack on WHSmith selling chocolate oranges.

  2. Our final worry is that nudge becomes collusion between the state and corporations to hoodwink consumers. At least nannies are overt.

    Don’t stab people in the back; stab ’em in the front!

  3. Our final worry is that nudge becomes collusion between the state and corporations to hoodwink consumers. At least nannies are overt.

    No. I’ve said it before, the real worry is that they plan to turn nudge in to push, and if that doesn’t work push becomes shove becomes barge becomes led away in irons.

  4. Why don’t they just come out and say whit it is that they really want? A return to ration books and food stamps.

  5. I got into it a few weeks back with somebody on the Smug Diet (I don’t know if I cribbed that term from someplace else, although a Google search shows how I used it here: ), who was basically using his “virtuous” food choices to try to run the lives of everybody else who didn’t share his choice of food, and using health care expenditure as a rationale for his bullying. (This particular go-round was in a different forum; not the one I linked above.)

    I argued that every time I see one of these nanny-state types, I can feel my blood pressure rise, and the collective national rise in blood pressure most certainly can’t be good for the “public health”. Consequently, such nannies ought to shut up. I thought it would be fun to watch the nanny try to contort himself into justifying his bullying, but all he did was retreat into circular argument: “Don’t you know how morally righteous I am?” sort of stuff. These people are really evil.

    I also like to compare them to perverts who get their rocks off running other people’s lives. Roman Polanski could only anally rape one girl at a time, but the nanny-state types harm all of the children at the same time by bequeathing the children a world in which bullying in the name of health is considered not only acceptable, but encouraged.

  6. These liberals should be strangled at birth. We live in a capitalist society – that means that corporations like Fritolay have the freedom to sell us what we want and we can eat what we want. This is what FREEDOM is. I weigh nearlly 400 pounds and my kids are big too. That has nothing to do with what we eat. These professor people want to take away our freedom. If we want to smoke and beat our women or kids that too is freedom. Keep up the good work. Not many people are willing to stand up for True Freedom like you do.

  7. Tim, you are to be congratulated on such a great blog. These people need to be dealt with. As Ted said, they are really evil and should be put down. They are trying to control our lives and tell us what to think. They are fascist liberals who think they are so clever. But we have the guns!

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