The governments health ‘nudge’ is not doing enough, say critics
According to critics, efforts made by the government to encourage the nation to adopt healthier lifestyles will not work unless they are prepared to enforce legislation.
For a number of years the government has been ‘nudging’ the UK to employ healthier eating, drinking and exercise habits but to little effect.
The ‘nudge’ theory is the term used to describe giving individuals a gentle push in the right direction to change their behaviour, without necessarily banning specific activities.
This is the approach the government has employed for some time now with regards to healthier lifestyles, but it has now come under fire for doing too little, with peers favouring bringing in legislation so that what were ‘recommendations’ actually become law.
However, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley is an admirer of the nudge theory and managed to use it successfully in the government’s public health strategy which was laid out towards the end of last year.
Up until now the governments efforts have been centred around using voluntary arrangements with organisations, and though there has been successes many still feel that more should be being done.
Chairman of the House of Lords science and technology committee, Baroness Neuberger said: “There are all manner of things that the government want us to do – lose weight, give up smoking, use the car less, give blood – but how can they get us to do them?
“It won’t be easy and this inquiry has shown that it certainly won’t be achieved through using nudges, or any other sort of intervention, in isolation.”
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