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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