Readers React: A ban on food advertising would be more effective than any dietary advice


To the editor: As Nina Teicholz details, nutrition research was discredited recently with a “spectacular case of sloppy science.” The proliferation of ever more expensive health and nutrition studies has consumed limited resources. These efforts have an ingrained bias by their limitations of time, materials and population.

The dietary guidelines that our government publishes every five years are arrived at by a dissonant committee that caters to the food industry. Common sense has practically disappeared from the discussion. Obesity, hypertension, diabetes, arthritis and other chronic diseases are epidemic. Ever more expensive medicines serve as crutches for those in need.

Advertising promotes food addiction. As tobacco advertising has been practically eliminated, food advertising, especially the false and flagrant types, must also cease. Rigorous nutrition studies may be unnecessary, especially when common sense is used.


Jerome P. Helman, MD, Venice

The writer is a gastroenterologist specializing in nutrition.


To the editor: There is enough common sense and good science to sort out what’s best for us nutrition-wise.

I sorted this matter out in 2015. I wanted to avoid a diet that increased my risk of heart disease and stroke. My parents and grandparents all had diminished quality of life in their final years due to heart disease or stroke.

I had no strong food biases prior to 2015. I thought that extra-virgin olive oil and salmon were health foods and enjoyed them both. I never really thought that vegetarians or vegans had all their marbles.


But after doing my homework and seeing that the only diet that actually stopped atherosclerosis (and actually frequently reversed it) was a whole-food, plant-based diet, I became a vegan and a taker of vitamin B-12.

I have a degree in biology and know good science when I see it.

Stephen V. Hymowitz, Los Angeles

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion and Facebook