The Fun Police website was born as a result of my previous four years of blogging about my academic interests -  epidemiology, expose assessment, statistical methodology and public health - on OEHScience. After four years I  could conclude that I enjoyed the blogging, managed to do it during this whole period with about one extensive  article per month, and managed to get my monthly visits up from 0 (obviously) to about 500 per month.  Now...in the world of the internet that is not a lot. But having said that, it is also more than nobody. If only  most academic, peer-reviewed papers were read at least 500 times! Anyway, this is the next step...It has the same blog content as OEHScience, but with the new web address it is now a lot easier to find. It now also looks  a lot better (I hope you agree), and now that is under my control I will continue to make improvements.  There are also several new, permanent, sections that have been added in addition to the blog. There is a new  section on interesting reads that may be of interest to you too, and which includes mainly ‘popular science’  books, but may also include actual academic books if I think these are of special interest. Hell, I even found  that there are novels about public health! These can be found on the Book Shelves (where you would expect  them to be....obviously), while there is also a link to the book(s) I am currently reading so that you know what  reviews to expect. I even gave them all a, completely biased I have to admit, mark out of 10. I hope that will  be helpful to you in deciding which books to buy for your next holiday....  So why The Fun Police....I can see you think...what does that mean?  Epidemiology, but especially public health, are great areas of research. They deal with people directly and aim  to influence people’s live in a good way. If you were to listen to it and adhere to all its advice....well you would  go mental....but if you were to adhere to its good advice, you may live longer and hopefully remain healthier  for longer, and so will the people around you. Unfortunately, many of the things that are fun also have negative  side effects. Not only that, they are fun because they trigger the body and the mind into overindulging in  whatever (eg this can be something like drinking too much alcohol but can equally relate to compulsory and  unhealthy quantities of physical exercise). A healthier lifestyle often involves doing the things you enjoy less  often, or in less quantity, than you would like. Moreover, if things do go wrong this costs everyone in terms of healthcare costs, insurance costs, costs for therapy, wasted time, etcetera. To be able to help as many people as possible when they need it, it is therefore important we minimize these healthcare costs. And this,  unfortunately, involves a variety of interventions, including societal changes through new (local) government  policies.   This creates an interesting stand-off between personal freedom and the benefits of society as a whole, and in  that debate it is very often public health that is portrayed as the “bad guy” because it tells you not to do  something you want, while it can’t generally guarantee that you personally benefit from it later in life. In other  words, it is pretty damn annoying that being health does not fit with your current lifestyle! Moreover, restrictions on lifestyles and behaviours very often come at a cost to industry (for example in reduced sales of cigarettes) and it is in the direct benefit of their shareholders to fight this wherever and whenever they can. Often this results in media campaigns, subsidized “think thank” reports, misleading scientific claims in media  and in published research papers etcetera; all of which aimed at distorting, not always in a directly noticeable  way, the scientific evidence. Because of the enormous difference in resources, public health is often at the  losing end of this battle, and gets painted as the boring, communist, and nosy people who only want to forbid  everything that is remotely fun - just because they can. And, as someone (who shall remain nameless) sighed at some point:  “Public health really is a bit like the fun police isn’t it... This blog picks up form there and aims to show that if just think a bit longer the arguments do actually make  sense, and that with a sprinkle of fun these arguments can be understood by everyone (without resorting to  name-calling and shouting). And of course...not all epidemiological or public health research is good.  And looking into that a bit more is part of the entertainment of The Fun Police too. 
About The Fun Police
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