Tag Archives: health

Most Norwegians do not ski

silly proposal to spend public money on giving everyone a type of sports equipment that in average can be used around one quarter of the year got me wondering how many Norwegian actually do ski. So I looked up some data from Statistics Norway’s survey on living conditions

skiing1997_2014

Source: Statistics Norway

More than half the population skis at all, skiing (on the extensive margin) is clearly on a downwards sloping trend, but is free skis to everyone the solution? Given that skis can be obtained nearly for free already, perhaps interest is just not that high. Better to build out opportunities for all-year activity close to where people live, restrict time spent watching television, raise sugar taxes, and get more physical activity into school.

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Treat children’s cough with placebo

The Incidental Economist reports a study from JAMA Pediatrics in which 120 small kids with “nonspecific acute cough” were randomized between 1) treatment with agave nectar, 2) placebo and 3) no treament. Parents, who were blind to the difference between agave nectar and placebo, answered surveys about the severity of the children’s cough before and after treatment. On almost all measured outcomes, the researchers found improvements for both the treatment and placebo groups compared to the no treament group, but no difference between them. The powerful tool of the placebo effect should be kept in mind by parents.