Category Archives: Social policy

Changing Economic Factors and the Rise in Obesity

Obesity is fast becoming a prominent global health issue. This column presents new evidence tentatively suggesting that variables related to the costs of eating – particularly whether there is a big discount warehouse nearby – are leading drivers of the rise in obesity occurring since the early 1980s. These findings should help policymakers work with businesses to find the best solution to tackle obesity.


De-Industrialisation, ‘New Speenhamland’ and Neo-Liberalism: Government Subsidies to Low Wage Employers

Efforts to reform social welfare programs in England operated on the assumption that lack of consistent work (as in periods of unemployment) and overly large families were the big drivers of poverty. But the majority of poor now are working poor, and as in the Speenhamland days, social welfare programs are helping to subsidize below-living-wage pay levels.Similar factors are in play for US employers like Wal-Mart and McDonalds.