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Improving our diets: more freedom or more control?

October 23, 2018 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

A Cambridge Festival of Ideas event

23 October 2018, 5.30pm – 7.00pm
McCrum Lecture Theatre, Corpus Christi College

Please note that booking is required for this event. You can book here now.

#freedomorcontrol #cfi2018

Across the world our diets are often poor, damaging our health, and putting pressure on collective resources such as healthcare. And the negative effects of the unhealthy food available in our shops, restaurants and takeaways tend to hit the poorest in society hardest.

Governments, public health agencies and commercial companies have attempted various measures to get us to eat more healthily, including food labelling, taxes, changing the recipes of processed foods, and influencing what shops are on the high street. The choice of which approach to use is not only a matter of what works, but touches on fundamental questions about our responsibilities and freedoms. Do public health policies restrict our individual liberty to make our own choices? Or does the state have a duty to protect us from profiteering corporations and our own worst instincts? Are there universal answers to these questions, or are they different for different groups and individuals in a society?

Join public health and policy experts for a facilitated discussion to explore these questions and the practical and philosophical challenges they raise. Find out how evidence and ethics can help us decide when and how to intervene.

This event is co-organised by CEDAR and the Bennett Institute for Public Policy

Please note that booking is required for this event. You can book here now.

A note about directions

The McCrum Lecture Theatre is down a passage next to the Eagle Pub on Bene’t Street, so the postcode on the map below will not point you directly to it. If you walk down Bene’t Street from Kings Parade, the passage will be on your left immediately after the Eagle Pub. If you enter Bene’t Street from Peas Hill, Guildhall Street, or the Corn Exchange, the passage will be on your right after Jack’s Gelato.



  • 5.30pm: An opportunity to meet the researchers and learn about their work in dietary public health and policy
  • 6.00pm: Facilitated discussion
  • 7.00pm: Post-discussion refreshments and further opportunity to meet the researchers




October 23, 2018
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm