Nanny state on tour


This report from the UK think tank IEA looks at UK foreign aid spending on lifestyle interventions targeting smoking, drinking, eating and sedentary behaviour.

This study calculates how much UK foreign aid was spent (in 2018 prices) on lifestyle interventions targeting smoking, drinking, eating and sedentary behaviour. UK taxpayers spent £44.6million on ‘nanny state’ foreign aid projects between 2005 and 2018, spread over 35 projects in 47 countries. The three biggest recipients were China (£7.9million), India (£2.2 million) and Colombia (£1.8 million). ‘Nanny state’ foreign aid has ballooned in recent years. The majority (84.4 per cent) of the £44.6million was spent from 2016 to 2018. Annual spending on lifestyle intervention projects equalled £17million in 2016, £16.7million in 2017 and £3.9million in 2018. Projects in China included a £6.8million ‘research unit’ to reduce the amount of salt housewives add while cooking; in India, £130,605 was spent researching the ‘acceptability and feasibility’ of taxing sugary drinks; and in Colombia, £1million was spent tightening tobacco control laws.

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