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Articles on Nanny state

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Since fertility isn’t linked to one’s calibre as a parent, the state can only be justified in placing conditions on all prospective parents, regardless of fertility status. PROBunches and Bits {Karina}/Flickr

States have no right to stop anyone wanting to access IVF

Should people who need subsidised medical assistance to conceive have to show the state they will be good parents? This ethicist argues such checks are discriminatory.
David Leyonhjelm is chairing the Senate inquiry into ‘Personal Choice and Community Impacts’. AAP/Sam Mooy

Is the minimal state a reasonable response to the nanny state?

We don’t know what will come out of the Senate inquiry into the ‘nanny state’, but we do have some idea about what Australia would look like based on libertarian principles.
Libertarians have a deeply atomising picture about communities, states, even about what it is to be human. Ars Electronica/Flickr

Is the ‘nanny state’ so bad? After all, voters expect governments to care

David Leyonhjelm’s parliamentary inquiry into what he calls “the nanny state” reflects a view of human beings as essentially independent individuals. But that’s not kind of society most of us want.
Our changing food environment has undermined our capacity to be responsible in the first place. Shutterstock

Fat nation: why so many Australians are obese and how to fix it

In 1980 just 10% of Australian adults were obese; by 2012 this figure had risen to 25%, among the highest in the world. The food industry lobby and their friends in government would have us believe this…
The prevalence of obesity in Australia hasn’t tripled in the last 30 years because we’ve all lost personal responsibility. Flickr/confidence, comely.

Personal responsibility won’t solve Australia’s obesity problem

Almost two thirds of Australians are now overweight or obese. In fact, obesity and unhealthy diets now contribute to more disease and illness in Australia than smoking. This makes finding solutions to…
Food labelling has been a central plank of the food regulatory system since it first emerged in the mid-1800s. Marcos Pozo López/Flickr

Food labels are about informing choice, not some nanny state

Coalition MP Ewen Jones has spoken out against reinstating the health star rating website controversially closed down by the assistant health minister. Jones says the government shouldn’t interfere with…
If you treat smoking as a purely personal choice you’re not giving enough weight to the impact of dying young. stolenscript/Flickr

Fuming with outrage: Nazis, nannies and smoking

A few years ago I saw a poster stuck to the wall of a train station in Copenhagen. The poster was a protest paid for by a prominent Danish musician against new regulations against smoking in public. At…
If saving lives is the goal, a ban on tobacco looms large to anyone who cares to look. David Hegarty

Why banning cigarettes is the next step in tobacco control

The Federal government’s High Court win on cigarette plain packaging is another sign that the carcinogenic mist is dispersing to finally reveal the smoking elephant in our collective lounge room. The pachyderm…
The multi-country study concluded that in Australia, television advertising’s contribution to childhood obesity is between 10% and 28%. Maggie Osterberg

Government, parents or advertisers: who should decide what kids watch and eat?

A recent complaint to the Advertising Standards Board by the Obesity Policy Coalition about a Smarties online colouring-in competition aimed at three- to ten-year-olds, and a bill introduced by Greens…
Lack of discussion of alcohol’s harm to others contributes to how little it is regulated. AAP

Breaking the booze cycle: why we need higher alcohol taxes

A coalition of representatives from leading national health bodies are briefing parliamentarians today, calling for alcohol pricing to be placed on the agenda of the upcoming Federal Tax Forum in October…

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