Opinion: Education drove down smoking rates; it can do the same for obesity

San Francisco Approves Ordinance For Health Warnings For Sugary Soda Ads
Bottles of soda at a convenience store in San Francisco.
(Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

To the editor: We don’t need statistics to know that we have an obesity problem. Just walk outside or look in the mirror. (“Nearly 4 in 10 U.S. adults are now obese, CDC says,” Oct. 12)

As an old timer (I’m 79), I remember in the 1950s that an obese person was conspicuous.

Require food suppliers to label sugar and fat content in large letters. Treat fast-food restaurants like alcohol vendors and restrict their locations away from schools. Educate children and their parents, especially in areas with populations that have higher rates of obesity.

We had a successful campaign to reduce smoking and, if committed, we can do the same against obesity.


Don Tonty, Los Angeles


To the editor: As a retired registered dietitian, I read this article with interest and a hope that there would be at least one sentence regarding the way out of our predicament. Here is one suggestion:

Most people who have lost weight and are able to maintain their healthy weight have done so by avoiding sugars and processed grains.


This dietary goal is so simple, and we can acquire all of our necessary nutrients in such a painless and easy manner. There is no need to count calories or measure foods.

The physiological mechanism to explain the success behind my suggestion has been well known for at least 50 years. My one-sentence observation has been a commonly used medical therapy for generations.

Robin Gilbert, North Hills

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