cover image: A bitter taste? Exploring the political constraints on public health policies F


A bitter taste? Exploring the political constraints on public health policies F

23 Aug 2023

We also researched and spoke to experts and policymakers involved in key pieces of public health regulation and legislation, including the Soft Drinks Industry Levy in the UK, the Public Health (Alcohol) Act in Ireland and Chile’s regulations on food labelling and advertising. [...] Polls commissioned by Action on Smoking and Health find that three-quarters of people support the target of reducing smoking prevalence to below 5% by 2030, and that 43% of smokers endorse that goal.2 The Obesity Health Alliance has found that two-thirds of people favour a government obesity strategy and see reducing obesity as a priority.3 According to the Alcohol Health Alliance, 55% of people t. [...] A 2020 Redfield & Wilton poll found that 37% of people say that the government should seek to influence the decisions people make about their health, compared to 35% that disagree.6 However, in the same poll, 52% of people agreed that is right for the government to tell people they should lose weight.7 ATTITUDES ARE PARTICULARLY HARDLINE WHEN IT COMES TO GAMBLING The public are less divided on the. [...] That said, it is important to note that for each of the policies shown C2DE respondents are more likely to support the policy than oppose, and in many cases a clear majority of them are in favour. [...] One of the ministers that was circumvented, Liz Truss, apparently made plans to scrap the measure in her brief time as Prime Minister.19 Some of those we spoke to bemoaned the failure to win greater consent for the policy: “We didn’t win the intellectual argument … in the folklore of the Tory party, it’s still a huge deal”.


Linus Pardoe

Published in
United Kingdom