Letters to the editor on obesity, fluoridation, government health care

11/09/2012 6:15 PM

11/09/2012 6:15 PM

Obesity is national security issue

As we remember the many sacrifices of our military this Veterans Day weekend, we also should consider the upcoming generation and what our nation can do to help ensure our long-term national security.

More than 300 retired generals and admirals like myself are concerned that 1 in 4 young adults currently is too overweight to join the military and that weight problems have become the top medical reason why young adults cannot enlist. In 2010, 133,000 Kansans between the ages of 18 and 24 were overweight or obese.

Though no single action will resolve the obesity issue, a comprehensive overhaul of school nutrition and fitness programs is an excellent place to start.

New lunch and breakfast nutrition standards have gone into effect this fall, and soon the U.S. Department of Agriculture will update standards for snack foods – critically important steps in improving the health of our children. These standards are helping parents reinforce healthier eating habits with their kids and deserve our full support.

Kansas Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran can also help by supporting efforts in Congress to provide schools with resources for the equipment and training that cafeteria workers need to make healthful foods more appealing to kids.

Helping our children eat healthful meals and get more exercise is not just a health issue. It’s a matter of national security.

RICHARD B. MYERS

Arlington, Va.

Well-considered

Regarding “Fair coverage” (Nov. 8 Letters to the Editor), which said: “It appears that many people who opposed fluoridation did so based on opposition to governmental authority in general, rather than a well-considered scientific evaluation of the history of fluoridation.” Did the letter writer not attend any one of the five public presentations that Albert Burgstahler and I gave in Wichita? Did he not watch our testimony before the Sedgwick County Commission? Is he not aware of the 372-page book on this subject that I wrote with two other scientists, “The Case Against Fluoride”? In this book, every argument is backed up with references to the literature.

But the letter writer was correct about one thing. For those who have studied this issue carefully, it is very difficult to respect governmental authority on this matter. More people need to question authority and not just take the views of the American Dental Association and Pew Center spin artists at face value.

PAUL CONNETT

Binghamton, N.Y.

Health care myth

As a European living in America, I’m often confused by the average American’s fear of universal health care. The general consensus is that freedom of choice beats government-provided care. But does freedom of choice really exist? Can you simply switch health insurance providers like you would with car insurance?

For most Americans who rely on employer-sponsored health care, the answer is “no.” The cost of premiums for an individual is incredibly expensive, and when you add dependent children, the cost for an average family becomes prohibitive. The majority of Americans have no choice but to accept the insurance their employers offer.

True choice would be like the British system. It has a public system that covers everyone regardless of wealth, alongside a private option that gives people access to private hospitals.

Right now, Americans are burdened with a system that puts profit above care. Getting sick shouldn’t involve going bankrupt. Americans deserve more.

DAVID HASSALL

Wichita

Thanks for support

I would like to thank all of the supporters of the “Thomas Jefferson Project” this election year. All of the volunteers were a great help, and the voter support was strong.

I specifically would like to thank my fellow candidates for the 4th Congressional District seat, Robert Tillman and Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, for their gentlemanly conduct and the respect they both demonstrated toward me as a third-party candidate. The media cooperation was greatly appreciated by our campaign supporters.

I send out a heartfelt “thank you” to the constituents of this district.

THOMAS JEFFERSON

Wichita

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