• A sweet alignment: Microsimulation and the soft drinks levy

    In the weeks before his election Boris Johnson called for a review and potential roll back of ‘sin taxes’ which bemused experts, including the public health community. He stated that “once we leave the EU on 31 October, we will have a historic opportunity to change the way politics is done in this country. A […]

  • Microsimulation modelling for policy change

    How do you answer questions about the health of the population? How do you test ideas for policy and intervention change when the option for an experiment or randomized control trial does not exist?   High level, national public health policies can have a significant impact on shaping and creating the environments – physical, food, healthcare, […]

  • What is microsimulation and why do we use it?

    Originally envisioned by the American economist Guy Orcutt in 1957, microsimulation models have become widely used within economics, and are increasingly used in public and population health and other fields to model the outcomes of government policy.  While more complex and requiring more data than simpler arithmetic and representative agent models, microsimulation models use individual-level […]

  • The need for population health in healthcare

    How do you define ‘Healthcare’? Treating disease? Improving mobility? Taking drugs to reduce pain?  Perhaps all of these?  This illustrates that healthcare is very much focused on treating illness, rather than preventing it. Our system can be better termed ‘ill-healthcare’. With an ageing population and growing burden of non-communicable disease, the NHS is overworked and […]

  • Unpicking the headlines: Cancer, obesity and Boris

    Two news stories dominated the headlines this week – Cancer Research UK (CRUK) rolling out a new campaign linked with their findings that obesity is now the leading risk factor for four cancers and Conservative leadership candidate Boris Johnson calling for a review and potential roll-back of ‘sin taxes’, in particular those measures designed to alter consumer food environments.