Chicago repeals unpopular sugar tax. Is it doomed to fail in Britain, too?

When nanny state campaigners talk about sugar taxes, they love to mention Berkeley, California. In 2014, the people of Berkeley…

Ignore the headlines: Czechs aren’t the ‘unhealthiest people in the world’

When the Nanny State Index (which I edit) was published a few months ago, the Czech Republic came at the bottom the…

It’s the economy, stupid – why minimum pricing won’t work

There was a reminder last week that politics produces strange bed-fellows when the Institute of Alcohol Studies (formerly known as the…

The Pioppi Diet is a superficial lifestyle guide based on distorted evidence

Pioppi is a very small village in southern Italy. It is one of those places where people are reputed to…

Imaginary intolerances and stupid food fads: the world needs The Angry Chef

Two books were published on the same day last week about the science of food. You can read my review of The…

The smoking ban turns ten. What did it really achieve?

Saturday sees the tenth anniversary of the smoking ban in England. A curse or a blessing depending on your point…

Ignore the lazy headlines. Chips don’t ‘double your chances of death’

You can increase your chances of living forever by avoiding french fries, according to the Telegraph. Eating chips ‘doubles your…

Where do the parties stand on the nanny state? For libertarians, the outlook is bleak

It might not be front of mind for everybody at election time but for single-issue voters like me, only one…

A triumph of the busybodies: the EU begins its crackdown on smokers and vapers

One day last summer I walked into my local e-cigarette shop and bought their entire stock of my favourite vape…

Does BBC Radio 2 encourage heavy drinking? Welcome to the weird world of public health

Is the BBC driving you to drink? According to a study published in the Journal of Public Health — and…

Revealed: Public Health England’s cosy love-in with the anti-alcohol lobby

In January 2016, Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer, controversially lowered the drinking guidelines for men and declared that there…

Public health campaigns may prolong lives. But save money? That’s fiction

There is a common misconception that public health initiatives save money in the long run by preventing healthcare costs further…

alcohol

Moderate drinking is good for the heart. Why won’t public health admit it?

A new study in the British Medical Journal has found that moderate drinkers have a lower risk of heart attack,…

If we want to benefit from Brexit, the first thing we should do is make snus legal

In Sweden, the smoking rate has fallen to a mere nine per cent, as the New Scientist reports… Sweden is…

healthy diet

You can eat a healthy diet for next to nothing. Here’s the proof

It is a common belief in some circles that a healthy diet is unaffordable. Last year, the chair of the…

e-cigarettes

Stop the junk science on vaping. E-cigarettes don’t turn kids into smokers

Ever since e-cigarettes became mainstream consumer products circa 2012, there has been a steady flow of anti-vaping scare stories. In…

brown toast

Why you don’t need to worry about eating brown toast

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has launched a campaign to warn Britons of the dangers of toasting and roasting their…

diet drinks

Ignore the headlines. Diet drinks don’t make you fat

The front pages of yesterday’s newspapers had some sensational news for the yo-yo dieters and temporary gym members of post-festive…