The Case for Winding up Public Health England

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Some of what Public Health England does is worthwhile. This includes protecting us from public health hazards, and preparing for and acting upon public health emergencies.

It claims to promote healthier lifestyles, to advise government and to support actions to achieve this. Unfortunately it has taken as its remit to urge more controversial laws intended to promote what it sees as healthier. It pushed for the sugar tax and relentlessly pursued smokers. It recommends alcohol limits plucked out of thin air without scientific basis, limits so low that everyone laughs at them.

Now it wants our breakfasts limited to 400 calories and our lunches and dinners to 600 calories, and it wants supermarkets compelled by law to serve ready meals so limited. That would put a day’s calories at 1,600 calories, well short of what would be healthy for most people. The difference between men and women has disappeared, even though their different metabolisms have not. It wants candy bars reduced to 100 calories maximum.

It has become a bossy killjoy, apparently intent on making us all miserable in the cause of what its personnel see as good health. There are ways of encouraging healthier lifestyles other than the strong-arm tactic of banning things. What is achieved is to make people nervous about enjoying themselves, raising stress levels, and probably having a net negative effect on their health.

Public Health England should now be wound up and replaced by a body whose remit is limited to health hazards and emergencies. We would all be a lot happier if this happened, and that would probably make us a lot healthier.

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Hector Drummond
Member

It definitely should be wound up yes, but the 1600 calorie-a-day thing is false — see here:
http://hectordrummond.com/2018/03/08/int-womens-day-message-from-phe-women-must-have-only-half-the-chocolate-than-men-can-have/

Twatting on Tim
Guest

Yes but what about the Fiscal policy which is very powerful but needs to be carefully managed. The NHS was conceived and built in times of high national debt. This could occur because creation of money is not an inherent constraint. Thanks to the government spend and tax circuit, the NHS nurse, doctor, physiotherapist or pharmacist need not cost anything as long as (they serve a useful purpose and) the money spent on them is also spent. In fact, it is more likely that society will profit through ‘crowding in’ more economic activity through NHS employees’ subsequent spending and a… Read more »

Southerner
Member

Please do not ever apply for a job as accountant at my company. When I buy paper, printing ink, laminating film etc I fully expect that what I pay will be on-spent but it most certainly does not cost me nothing. I hope to make a profit and get my money back eventually, but I won’t if I follow your advice and spend as much as I can on my inputs. I wonder how many economies have tried to spend their way into prosperity and failed. Anecdotally, I had a girlfriend with a father who never stopped bragging about how… Read more »

Rhoda Klapp
Member
Rhoda Klapp

I have learned to ignore that high-pitched buzzing. As far as PHE is concerned, “The forces of tyranny expand inexorably to fill the space made available for their existence.” I’ve literally just read the in Jordan Peterson’s book. And it applies to this bunch of evil-doers with their faux concern and ineffective but offensive tactics. Now, ‘tackling’ obesity. First, it’s not society’s problem. They are merely justifying their intolerant reaction to fat people by claiming dubious imagined health costs. Secondly the solution they espouse is to fiddle with foods and portions used by everybody, not just the obese. It’s not… Read more »

Gamecock
Guest
Gamecock

A corollary of Parkinson’s Law (1955):

‘Observation that “work expands to fill the time available for its completion,” and that a sufficiently large bureaucracy will generate enough internal work to keep itself ‘busy’ and so justify its continued existence without commensurate output.’

BniC
Member
BniC

Making sports centre gyms and pools free to use would be a better use of their time, after all exercise is an important factor

The Meissen Bison
Guest
The Meissen Bison

Twat o’T: It is estimated that the fiscal multiplier for UK healthcare spending currently lies between 2.5 and 6.1 It must be obvious to even the meanest intelligence (a broad category which includes you) that anything as vaguely expressed as that is pure guesswork by partisans of tax & spend. This means for every £1 spent on the NHS approximately £4 of economic activity results Obviously not: you have reduced your invented two value “multiplier” to a single figure. The other difficulty, of course, is that public sector productivity is expressed as total public sector expenditure for want of a… Read more »

Gamecock
Guest
Gamecock

Yes, amusing that he uses a decimal point.

Mr Ecks
Member
Mr Ecks

PHE–Standard terms–sacked en masse/no compo/pensions confiscated etc.

Spike
Member

Mr Ecks – Never stand between a bureaucrat and his pension! Cars overturned, fires set, threats against your children. Living off others as you shuffle papers is temporary; continuing to live off others as you do nothing at all is the meaning of life. The American counterpart, Centers for Disease Control (“Prevention” recently got appended to its name, clarifying that its purview includes everything), has been restricted since 1996 by the “Dickey Amendment” against doing research on gun violence. (No one goes to Washington to “research” anything, but to devise sales pitches. Surprise, the normal use of guns is violent!)… Read more »

Mr Ecks
Member
Mr Ecks

Spike: Bureau-violence Spike? Are the fuckers going to put in a request in triplicate for permission?. They can’t even make the shit world of penpushing work. I think it unlikely they will be any more successful at being tough guys. Let the arseholes try by all means.

Tim Newman
Member

The puritanism and desire to control others from the likes of PHE is, in my opinion, filling the void left by the decline of religion. Once someone invokes the benefits that will accrue to the hallowed NHS, you can be sure of it.