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FRANK RHAME, Minneapolis
Come on, have some self-control. Or eat nuts.
Deep sigh. Another article on the pitiable obese people in the United States, ticking off the standard excuses: marketing, access to good food, exercise, better education (“Five myths about obesity,” Dec. 31). And good old self-will can’t change things? Wow. Those poor food addicts. Gosh, whatever can they do?
Every time I hear this, I recall my long-gone days as an alcohol and drug addict. I got no pity. I got my butt kicked to a 12-step program that helped me overcome my addictions. Try it. It works.
JANE TYLER, Forest Lake
• • •
The article’s author, Deborah Cohen, discredits five doomed strategies proposed to end the obesity epidemic but misses one with promise that has gotten a sliver of light recently. Nuts are correlated with weight reduction, because the fat content induces a sense of satiety. This has been known for decades but was submerged in the overreaction that accompanied dietary fat reduction aimed at lowering cholesterol. People ate less fat, still felt hungry and ate more calories of carbohydrates. And it all actually resulted from the kind of solution the author proposes — regulation (in the form of government-sanctioned dietary guidelines).
DR. ROSS S. OLSON, Minneapolis
Simplistic to say that delay led to fracking
It was never the case that Canadian oil transported across the United States would have remained in this country once it reached the Texas refineries, despite the claims of a Dec. 29 letter (about the consequences of North Dakota’s oil boom) that oil from fracking “is the alternative to the pipeline, which is being built anyway, except now going west to supply oil to China.” I’m not sure what the writer meant by “going west”; a route change to avoid the crucial Ogallala aquifer still sends the oil to Texas, as originally planned.
While U.S. law forbids exporting crude oil, Canadian oil is not subject to that law. Moreover, oil is a global commodity that flows where the market dictates; if exporting to China is profitable, then oil will flow to China, with or without the pipeline. Additionally, oil pipelines pose a significant threat to the environment; according to a recent article in the Guardian, North Dakota alone recorded more than 300 pipeline spills in just two years. We should be glad that President Obama is carefully weighing the risks against the benefits and not making rash decisions which could have a detrimental impact on our environment for generations.
JOYCE DENN, Woodbury
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.