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Welcome to STop, the Seattle Times Opinion blog where our editorial writers and editors share their evolving thoughts on a variety of issues. STop is a place where opinion writers and readers can exchange views and readers can learn more about how editorial positions are formed.

The opinions you read below are those of the individual writers, not necessarily views that will become formal positions of The Seattle Times. Respond to STop
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Jim Vesely
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Jim Vesely
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Lee Moriwaki
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Lee Moriwaki
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Joni Balter
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Joni Balter
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Eric Devericks
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Eric Devericks
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Lance Dickie
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Lance Dickie
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Bruce Ramsey
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Bruce Ramsey
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Kate Riley
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Kate Riley
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Lynne Varner
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Lynne Varner
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Ryan Blethen
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Ryan Blethen
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March 11, 2004

Re: The right to eat

Bruce, I have to respectfully disagree with your characterization of obesity as an individual problem. We're not talking about whether or not people can button their favorite jeans. Obesity causes very serious illnesses that require medical treatment. Obese people are more prone to diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, cancer and other ailments.

Everyone pays for their hospital stays and doctor visits. In fact, Medicare and Medicaid covers about half of the $75 billion a year it costs to treat obesity-related illnesses. Next year, half a million people will die from unhealthy eating and lack of exercise.

This absolutely is a public-health crisis. If we don't address prevention, the cost will only rise--for all of us.

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Posted by Susan Byrnes at March 11, 2004 11:24 AM



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