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When ‘social cost’ gets slippery: how lobby groups spin their case

Good causes have a tougher time convincing policymakers of the merits of addressing social issues. So they rely on “social cost” to get into the policy space.

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Bottoms up: the non-crisis of Australia’s alcohol consumption

The constant claims about the dangers of rising alcohol use in Australia don’t match reality. Crikey fact checks some of the statements made by the wowser lobby.

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‘Eat your Greens, Keane’: health experts fight back

Crikey readers weigh in on the big issues of the day.

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Alcohol control no nanny state conspiracy: preventive health lobby

Around Australia there are many people outside the preventive health sector who are working hard to combat the impact of too much booze, write health researchers Michael Thorn and Sandra Jones.

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Dear preventative health wowsers: stop taking the piss

Some persistent themes run through campaigns by the preventive health lobby to ban and tax things. But should these taxpayer-funded elites be allowed to crack down on what they disapprove of?

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Plain packs: tobacco industry bares its butts to bluff Rudd

There is one easy, preventative health plan that Rudd could implement: forcing plain packaging of cigarettes. Plain packaging “can kill your business” says the tobacco industry. Precisely.

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Crikey Blogs | FEDERAL|

Sweet: For Rudd it’s all about hospitals, hospitals, hospitals

Kevin Rudd has his sights firmly set on fixing hospitals rather than the population’s health. We’re talking elective surgery waiting lists and hip replacements, rather than reorientating the system towards better support for early childhood and families and for people with chronic illnesses or those who are otherwise under-served. I’m trying not to feel deflated, writes Melissa Sweet.

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Crikey Blogs | UNCATEGORIZED|

Make mental health part of the prevention debate

In all the debate about the effectiveness of preventative healthcare in Australia, please don’t forget about the often overlooked issue of mental health, says epidemiologist Dr Brian O’Toole.

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Rudd should sink his teeth into reducing sugar consumption

Since everyone is in wild agreement that the cause of tooth decay is sugar, why are we not acting to restrict its consumption?, asks David Gillespie.

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Prevention is impractical, but try telling that to the PM

Prevention is a health economist’s dream given the ageing of the population and the growth of chronic diseases. It’s better than cure, PM Kevin Rudd agreed yesterday, three times. But is that really true?

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Fag, booze and food hikes suck: give the poor SODS a break

Pity those who are smoking, obese, drinkers (SODs), writes Gavin Mooney.

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Is Rudd’s margin too fat to worry about promoting exercise?

At a time when 47% of Australians are so inactive that they are at excessive risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes, radical legislation that has directly led to a substantial drop in physical activity should be seen as a disaster, writes Dr John Orchard.

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Throwing money at preventive health is nice, but what’s the plan?

A salutary lesson comes from hospital reforms in the UK, where substantial funding increases have been slow to have a real impact on health outcomes, writes Dr Lesley Russell.

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