WHO Director-General, Margaret Chang’s speech in Finland earlier this month makes for sad reading. She is, of course, right about the baleful influence of “Big Food, Big Soda, and Big Alcohol”. Her idea though is a fight between the forces of good (the public health community) and those of evil (commercial interests). If good wins, regulation and WHO guidelines will overcome “front groups, lobbies, promises of self-regulation, lawsuits, and industry-funded research that confuses the evidence and keeps the public in doubt … [and] gifts, grants, and contributions to worthy causes that cast these industries as respectable corporate citizens in the eyes of politicians and the public.”

Nowhere does she think about nudges, incentives and tax provisions which could harness the power and skill of the private sector to sell health as effectively as McDonald’s sell coronary artery disease. How depressing