Battle of the Bulge

(May 1, 2018)

[Regular visitors to our blog will have guessed from the title that this posting is about obesity.  If you landed here looking for WWII material, you want the other Battle of the Bulge.]

As winter gives way to spring here in the Northern Hemisphere, many New Year's Resolutions, will have faltered.  Along with stopping smoking, losing weight is one of the more common goals, not least because the fortnight preceding the New Year is usually one of considerable excess in eating and drinking (that goes for this author, too).  However, reducing obesity and improving health is back on the agenda, as these are the specific aims of the UK's tax on sugary drinks, which was introduced in April 2018.

Losing weight (or, more accurately,…

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Tags: BMI, obsesity, sugar tax

Sweet and Sour

(Feb 17, 2016)

Public health initiatives, such as those being considered in the UK around sugar, carry risks as well as potential benefits for any government. The first consequence of action is the near-certain accusation of presiding over a nanny state. Although the archetypal nanny, Mary Poppins, was famously enamoured with sugar's ability to help the medicine go down, nowadays, most debate is around whether it actually sends our societal need for medicine in the opposite direction. Is sugar a particular driver of mortality and morbidity that merits state intervention? The World Health Organisation seems to think so, with it's recent report on Ending Childhood Obesity making an unequivocal call for effective taxes…

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Tags: longevity, sugar tax, obesity, diabetes, health intervention

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