What’s the Best Way to Break Society’s Bad Habits? – Room for Debate – NYTimes.com

For those interested, a number of different positions on what is the appropriate role for government in changing unhealthy behaviours such as smoking and obesity-inducing foods, and what techniques are more effective. The caricature of the nanny state versus a similar caricature of individual choice; the reality is somewhere in between.

Thinking, Fast and Slow, concludes with the suggestion that governments look to construct incentives/disincentives to ‘nudge’ behaviours. In this sense, the controversial large size soda ban in New York city, would still allow people to over consumer, but it would require a second order, which is a kind of nudge.

Interesting combination of ideology, commercial interests, psychology and our own genetic predisposition to overeat at play.

What’s the Best Way to Break Society’s Bad Habits? – Room for Debate – NYTimes.com.

And a reminder, that even when the public health benefits are well known, and classical economics favours the price mechanism, commercial interests are far from moral in the ideology they spout:

In California, a Battle Over a Plan for $1-a-Pack Cigarette Tax

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