A week in #PublicHealth

It's been a busy week for public health - statistics, plain packaging, minimum unit pricing for alcohol, and food in schools have all been in the news - here's my selection of stories ...


  1. Plain packaging for cigarette packets has, at the very least, been postponed:
  2. The news concerning minimum unit pricing for alcohol doesn't look much better:
  3. And some of the statistics which might help us interpret the importance of these measures may also be for the chop:
  4. Finally a  new report on food in schools caught the media's attention, including the 'headline' proposal that packed lunches should be banned, and schools meals made compulsory:
  5. So what to make of it all? I've not read the report on school meals, but it it's any good it will undoubtedly highlight the complexity of changing people's diet, and the need to act at multiple levels and address the relationships between them.  Meanwhile it seems a real pity that for whatever reason (and there are multiple interpretations of them) tobacco plain packaging in particular, won't be introduced.  If the evidence base in Australia is not clear enough, maybe we should turn this into an opportunity for a natural experiment to assess whether introducing it in the UK is associated with a reduction in smoking uptake among young people.