Director of lifestyle economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs. Author of Selfishness, Greed and Capitalism (2015), The Art of Suppression (2011), The Spirit Level Delusion (2010) and Velvet Glove, Iron Fist (2009).

George Monbiot blames the government for rising obesity levels – there’s a simpler explanation

George Monbiot has written a curate’s egg of an article for the Guardian on the subject of obesity. Struck by…

15 Aug 2018

The NHS tops the chart again – for avoidable deaths and poor health outcomes

The Commonwealth Fund is a US think tank that campaigns for reform to the American healthcare system. In particular, it…

14 Jul 2017
jam

Anti-sugar campaigners have gone after jam. They’ve picked the wrong spread

Action on Sugar’s usual gimmick is to read the nutritional information on food labels, collate the figures and then alert…

14 Apr 2017
beer

How a typo tricked the media: half a beer a week won’t harm your health

Eggs were on faces yesterday after some astonishingly bad science reporting in sections of the media. In articles that have…

22 Feb 2017
cola

Teenagers ‘drink a bathtub of cola a year’? This gimmick helps no one

As any fool knows, height is measured in double-decker buses and land is measured in football pitches. If you are…

23 Nov 2016

E-cigarettes above Ebola? How the WHO lost the plot

How do you deal with a man who likens himself to Hitler, describes the murder of children as ‘collateral damage’,…

8 Nov 2016

No, obesity isn’t ‘set to soar’ — I’d bet money on it

Today is World Obesity Day and so the usual warnings of the coming Armageddon have been sent out to the…

11 Oct 2016

The government’s great triumph on smoking: it left e-cigarettes alone

‘Smoking rates in England fall to lowest on record’ isn’t much of a headline in itself. Smoking rates have been…

21 Sep 2016

‘Vaping as bad as fags’: the Sun’s splash runs counter to everything we know

‘Vaping as bad as fags’ howls the front page of the Sun today. It is a strange headline to run…

30 Aug 2016

The evidence keeps on growing: alcohol’s health benefits are no old wives’ tale

You may recall the Chief Medical Officer, Sally Davies, telling us in January that there is ‘no safe level of…

25 Aug 2016

The sugar levy is economic lunacy. A rethink is urgently needed

When George Osborne found himself having to present a list of missed economic targets in the last budget, he pulled…

22 Aug 2016

Don’t believe the outrage. Anti-sugar activists have scored a colossal triumph

In any negotiation, one side will go in with extreme demands hoping for a compromise solution that gives them what…

18 Aug 2016

Don’t dismiss the data: a fatter Britain really is consuming fewer calories

Three years ago, a study found that people in Britain drink considerably more than they say they do. It became…

9 Aug 2016

Study ‘proves alcohol causes cancer’. The problem? There wasn’t a study

A new study has proved that alcohol causes cancer according to the front pages of the Guardian and the i…

22 Jul 2016

Longer opening hours were a complete success. How did the experts get it so wrong?

A House of Lords committee is currently conducting a review of the 2003 Licensing Act, aka ’24-hour drinking’. I gave…

22 Jul 2016

Message to public health: getting kids to front your campaigns won’t help

In a list of freedoms I would go to the wall for, the freedom of children to order takeaway food…

23 Jun 2016

New laws on tobacco and vaping are another step towards bootleg Britain

It is a reflection of the EU’s democratic deficit that smokers and vapers have only recently become aware of a…

20 May 2016

Half of middle-aged men ‘problem drinkers’? This is a new era of hysteria

Middle-aged men are at mortal risk from the demon drink and don’t even know it, according to a recent press…

18 May 2016

Mexico was meant to prove a sugar tax worked. New figures tell a different story

Back in January we were told that Mexico’s tax on sugary drinks cut consumption by six per cent in its…

6 May 2016

Don’t trust that meme: Prince’s death at 57 was no music industry average

After the tragic and untimely death of Prince, an internet meme took flight claiming that the singer died ‘at the…

25 Apr 2016

No wonder Britain’s alcohol guidelines are so extreme – just look at who drafted them

I’ve been reading the minutes of the meetings held by the committee that reviewed the alcohol guidelines recently. You may…

25 Feb 2016

The Times is panicking about a gambling epidemic but its story doesn’t add up

‘Doctors prescribe drugs to tackle Britain’s gambling epidemic’ was the top story on the Times‘s front page on Wednesday. ‘The…

19 Feb 2016

A ban on wine gums at the checkout? The scary thought is Cameron might back it

The Conservative party is a broad church but is it really broad enough to accommodate Dr Sarah Wollaston? The honourable…

22 Jan 2016

The hospital sugar tax is a stroke of evil genius

Simon Stevens, the head of the NHS (may peace be upon it), today unveiled plans to put a quasi-tax on…

18 Jan 2016

The truth about moderate drinking has been muddied by anti-alcohol militants

Last Friday, Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer, described the belief that moderate alcohol consumption was good for the heart…

13 Jan 2016

Behind the anti-booze hysteria is one very dodgy fact

One headline stood out in the hysteria over booze and hospital admissions yesterday… ‘Three in four people in A&E at…

23 Dec 2015