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Tuesday, 19 July 2011

House of Lords committee finds Nudge Theory for improving health is not good enough

BBC News reports that The House of Lords science and technology committee finds Nudge Theory with regard to improving the nation's health is not good enough, and that legislation is also required. Well I'd certainly go along with that. - The current health nudges/snippets of advice include that increasing exercise levels helps with reducing obesity - but it doesn't! - and that saturated fat causes heart disease - but it doesn't! - and that high cholesterol levels should be treated by taking prescribed statins - although these drugs do most people more harm than good and cost a lot of money.

Another nudge is called voluntary agreement, and that is when the manufacturers of unhealthy food agree to reduce levels of harmful additives/contaminants/poisons in the processed junk/food they inflict on consumers, and then do this reduction by miniscule amounts at the speed of an exhausted snail on tranquillisers. - My especial grouse about this is the continued presence of toxic synthetic transfats in manufactured biscuits, cakes, etc. Adding these factory-produced poisons to food intended for human consumption should be banned by Law, and that Law backed up by criminal sanctions against the CEOs of any companies that continue to add them to their products.

If the continued rise in incidence and severity of obesity that wreaks havoc on the economy and great, unnecessary suffering on huge numbers of individual people, is ever to be stemmed, and, hopefully, reversed, then any nudges/advice given should be supported by reliable evidence that it is correct, and not just the repetition of unproven mantras, assumptions and misinformation.

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