Making Healthy Choices Easier: Regulation Versus Nudging

Hansen, P.G. Skov, KL; Skov, LR (2016). Making Healthy Choices Easier: Regulation vs. Nudging. The Annual Review of Public Health, Vol. 37, pp. 237-251.

Posted: 27 Jul 2017

See all articles by Pelle Guldborg Hansen

Pelle Guldborg Hansen

Roskilde University - Department of Communication, Business and Information Technologies

Laurits Skov

Aalborg University

Date Written: December 30, 2015

Abstract

In recent years, the nudge approach to behavior change has emerged from the behavioral sciences to challenge the traditional use of regulation in public health strategies to address modifiable individual-level behaviors related to the rise of noncommunicable diseases and their treatment. However, integration and testing of the nudge approach as part of more comprehensive public health strategies aimed at making healthy choices easier are being threatened by inadequate understandings of its scientific character, its relationship with regulation, and its ethical implications. This article reviews this character and its ethical implication with a special emphasis on the compatibility of nudging with traditional regulation, special domains of experience, and the need for a more nuanced approach to the ethical debate. The aim is to advance readers' understanding and give guidance to those who have considered working with or incorporating the nudge approach into programs or policies aimed at making healthful choices easier.

Keywords: nudge, public health, policy, libertarian paternalism

Suggested Citation

Hansen, Pelle Guldborg and Skov, Laurits, Making Healthy Choices Easier: Regulation Versus Nudging (December 30, 2015). Hansen, P.G. Skov, KL; Skov, LR (2016). Making Healthy Choices Easier: Regulation vs. Nudging. The Annual Review of Public Health, Vol. 37, pp. 237-251., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3007645

Pelle Guldborg Hansen (Contact Author)

Roskilde University - Department of Communication, Business and Information Technologies ( email )

Universitetsvej 1, Building 42-3
P.O. Box 260
Roskilde, DK-4000
Denmark

Laurits Skov

Aalborg University ( email )

A. C. Meyers Vænge 15
Copenhagen, 2450
Denmark

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