How are trends in policy, food marketing and nutrition science shifting responsibilities for public health?
Public health is getting personal. The looming costs of diet-related disease have prompted policy makers to look for ways of changing people's eating habits on an epic scale. Government believes the key lies in making people more responsible for their own health.
This 'personalisation' is not restricted to public health policy. It is one of the big ideas for public service reform. It also echoes trends within the food industry and nutritional science towards single-serve, health-focused marketing and genetically targeted dietary advice.
But how will this policy approach, developed to improve public services, work in the market context of the food sector? Will it change people's behaviour and improve public health, and if so at what cost? Will it save the Treasury money? Will it empower people? And what can we learn from this example about 'personalisation' in general?