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Health and Efficiency (Editorial)

Health & Efficiency was the title of an old-fashioned magazine whose main claim to fame was that it was the only place to see pictures of semi-naked people before such pictures arrived with the cornflakes. Sex and money are two of the major drivers for human behaviour. For income taxes there is something called the Laffer curve: when the income tax rate is zero, the tax collected is zero, but when the tax rate is 100% the tax take is also zero. Somewhere in between is an area where tax collected is maximised because people are willing to pay it without using elaborate avoidance behaviour.

No laughing matter

When Bandolier first visited the topic of erectile dysfunction someone wrote in and asked if we were joking - surely this wasn't a serious topic for the NHS. We had checked on this, and found a pharmacist struggling with a request for seven intercavernosal injections a week. It is a serious matter, undoubtedly with evidence overtones, but with even more serious questions about access and payment. We can't deal with the latter, but perhaps we can inform on the former.

Fads and epidemiology

In the last year or so Bandolier has reported on various aspects of healthy living and healthy lifestyles. Some have been one or more good studies in a particular area, others, like this month , systematic reviews and meta-analysis. The striking feature is how good the evidence often is, and how big some of the effects are.

The Devil, it seems, does not have all the good tunes. Yet every time Bandolier talks to someone about healthy living issues, they make the point that no-one seems to make best use of it. Why not? Don't ask Bandolier , because we don't know. But we would be interested if we are missing really good books, or leaflets, or other information for doctors and patients on the topic of healthy living.

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