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Does self-control affect interventions to change alcohol, tobacco, and food consumption?

We conducted a systematic review to assess whether individual differences in self-control influence the effectiveness of interventions to change alcohol, tobacco, and food consumption. 54 studies were included in the review.

Our findings, published in Health Psychology Review, show that 22 studies (41%) did not report differences in intervention effectiveness by self-control, 18 (33%) reported interventions to be less effective in those with low self-control, and 14 (26%) reported interventions to be more effective in those with low self-control. This pattern of findings did not differ from chance. Click on the Read More button for further details on this study.

Does self-control modify the impact of interventions to change alcohol, tobacco, and food consumption? A systematic review. Stuatz K, Zupan Z, Field M. Marteau TM

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Have wine glasses in England got bigger?

Alcohol consumption in England has increased over time, particularly for wine. In a previous study, we found that wine sales in a bar and restaurant increased by almost 10% when wine was
served in a larger glass (Pechey et al., 2016 and Pechey et al., 2017). In our new study, published in the BMJ Christmas issue, we examined whether wine glasses in England have increased in size over time, one of several possible influences upon increasing wine consumption in England. To continue reading about our findings click on the Read More button.

Wine glass size in England from 1700 to 2017: A measure of our time. Zupan, Z., Evans, A., Couturier, D.L., Marteau, T.M.

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Richard Thaler: Contender for a Nobel Prize in Psychology?

Richard Thaler is an economist that is fluent in Psychology and has just won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Economics. His contribution, as recognised by the awarding committee, has been to apply the psychology of judgement and decision-making to economics. This has not only increased understanding sub-optimal financial decisions but also led to interventions to optimise these. The oft cited example is the Save More Tomorrow scheme in which rather than opting into a retirement saving scheme the default was switched so that employees would opt out. Savings with the latter increased four-fold from 3.5%. His contribution to psychology, less remarked upon, has also been remarkable. By highlighting the failures of subjective expected utility models – which are still the dominant models used in the health field – he drew attention to the many models in psychology that focus instead on habits, situations and non-conscious processes. To read the full blog click on the Read more button.