Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

August 30, 2004

School lunches giving children health problems

Nobody likes getting a failing grade, but the Baltimore County school district must accept that our students deserve more healthful food ("Elementary school lunches in Balto. County get low mark," Aug. 23).

Way too many kids today think healthy eating means slapping a bit of lettuce on a cheeseburger full of cholesterol and artery-clogging saturated fat.

That's why childhood obesity rates are going off the charts. And it's also why more and more kids are suffering from diabetes, hypertension, and other serious diet-related diseases.

But it doesn't have to be that way. In some school districts, the lunchroom is becoming a place where students learn to enjoy fruits and vegetables and explore low-fat, vegetarian alternatives to fried chicken and pizza.

These kids develop better habits and better health.

Why should Baltimore County be left behind?

Deniz Corcoran

Damascus

I'm sure Baltimore County officials are right when they say improving the food in school lunchrooms won't be easy. But as a physician, I know that helping kids eat better is worth the trouble.

Dietary patterns formed in childhood are hard to change. That means kids who grow up eating meat-heavy, high-fat diets tend to become adults who suffer heart attacks, strokes and other diet-related medical conditions that have reached epidemic levels in our society.

No child should face future health problems just because adults couldn't find the courage or creativity to help him or her kick the junk food habit.

Both parents and schools should be dishing up fruits, vegetables and healthy vegetarian meals - not loading kids down with sugar, fat and cholesterol.

Dr. Patrice Green

Parkton

It's no wonder Bush is battling for votes

In a recent article, The Sun breathlessly reported that President Bush appears to be losing support among Latino voters ("Bush in battle to keep Hispanic vote," Aug. 23).

Well, let's see. So far, the president has managed to get nearly 1,000 Americans killed in a war we didn't have to fight, searching for weapons that weren't there, while pulling forces away from North Korea, which brags of having nuclear weapons.

He has taken us from a federal budget surplus to staggering deficits that frighten even members of his own party. And, recently, he suggested junking the income tax in favor of a national sales tax, a regressive tax that would brutalize the lower and middle classes he claims to protect.

Meanwhile, he has the gall to let his surrogates attack Sen. John Kerry's service in Vietnam. At least we know Mr. Kerry was there. No one seems to know where our president was.

With such a record, the wonder isn't that President Bush may be losing votes among Latinos. The wonder is that anyone would vote for him at all.

David Spivey

Bel Air

Seeking health care that covers everyone

Concerning The Sun's editorial "Benefits cost jobs" (Aug. 23), I can offer firsthand experience of "fending for myself" in trying to acquire affordable and decent medical coverage.

And I now seek not "insurance," for that term no longer aptly describes the complex economic and social arrangements required to secure appropriate medical care, but rather some manageable form of universal coverage.

Employers, honorable though they may be, can never leverage enough economic might to overcome the political negligence that American legislators have practiced since the Truman administration (when an unusually politicized American Medical Association undermined our country's most earnest attempt at universal coverage).

Joshua Bloomberg

Timonium

Offering information that aids enemies

How convenient for the terrorists. The Sun not only publishes a map of nuclear sites in the business section on Aug. 25 ("Energy gap at a time of terror," Aug. 25) but the next day publishes all of the details about the Bay Bridge along with sketches ("Kind of company he keeps kept Va. man under scrutiny," Aug. 26).

They really don't have to bother with video cameras, etc. - it's all right there for them.

God help this country.

Amy Brennan

Severna Park

Are we suffering from terrorism amnesia, or is it simply The Sun that is so afflicted? Have we already forgotten Sept. 11, 2001?

I am referring to The Sun's article "Kind of company he keeps kept Va. man under scrutiny."

The article itself was very informative, but I saw absolutely no need to include an in-depth drawing depicting the Bay Bridge's length and height, where its strategic cables are, where the shipping lane is and other details video shots might have missed.

I realize that this information is also public record, but do we need to flaunt it?

Although the tape has been confiscated, these drawings were far much more informative than any video taken by an amateur could be.

Judith Kaufman

Elkridge

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