AMA: free sports gear poses a health risk


The Australian Medical Association dedicates an inordinate amount of time to the promotion of policies that restrict free consumer choice. This week’s major concern is the prevalence of inflatable beach balls and cricket sets:

In a submission to the Victorian Government, the state branch of the Australian Medical Association said the proliferation of alcohol advertising, reward schemes and promotions such as free cricket paraphernalia in liquor stores could be influencing the type and amount of alcohol people buy.

The ubiquitous marketing may also be normalising drinking, the group said, especially for young people who are now regularly exposed to products and advertising in supermarkets.

Of course, it isn’t enough to be concerned. The AMA want these dangerous promotions banned.

But hang on a minute. Shouldn’t the AMA be cheering on a company that provides free sports gear? Encouraging customers to engage in physical activity is surely a good thing. The public health lobby never stops shouting for something to be done about obesity – until someone other than the government does something that is.

When you dig down into what the paternalists really want, you discover that it’s all about control. Good health is fine but what’s really important is that experts and bureaucrats are given the ability to wield the power of the state.


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