Britain needs to go on a diet

The government wants the food industry to help us out

The government;s launched a huge anti-obesity drive, and it's targeting the food industry.

What it means: Public Health England (PHE), a government agency in charge of health (funnily enough) has urged the food industry to start using healthier ingredients and to encourage the public to choose lower calorie foods.

It's all part of a concerted effort to influence the way we eat, which the government is arguing will improve the health of the population. PHE said if the industry doesn't act, it could ask the government to introduce new laws to force it.

There are two big economic issues at play here – there's the rules governments impose on business, called regulations (or the threat of them at least), to tackle the structural problems behind obesity – big advertising campaigns for unhealthy foods, higher prices on expensive ones, etc. But it's also about using little tricks, called incentives, to try and influence our behaviour and nudge people into making healthier choices.

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Reader Comments

  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?