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    Letters to the editor

    Readers respond to articles on nutritionist Walter Willett, sports stars behaving badly, and more.

    Walter Willett.
    Dave Bradley
    Walter Willett.


    I really enjoyed “The Food Fighter” (July 28). I feel so thankful to have people like Dr. Walter Willett who are constantly working to improve our health. But sometimes it seems as if science makes things too complicated. Isn’t it obvious that a diet filled with healthy whole foods (including lots of fruits, veggies, and healthy fats) can only benefit us over our lifetime? Do we really need a scientific study to prove this? Though I know nutrition research is important, I would love to see more research dollars spent on developing methods to make healthy, nutritious food affordable and accessible to everyone.

    Beth Waisburd




    Willett is an awesome author. His book Eat, Drink, and Weigh Less helped me to lose more than 100 pounds. This guy has done more to get America on the right track than anyone else.


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    My mother, Edythe Rifkin, was Willett’s travel agent for many years. She was morbidly obese and was always afraid to face him. Most of their work was done over the phone and through his assistant. When his study came out about how bad white potatoes were for you, she took an empty bag, wrote “We loved every bite” on it, and mailed it to him. Seeing his face on your cover made me remember how hard she worked for that sweet, unassuming man.

    While I have always also had a weight problem, I have been following the Instinct Diet by Susan Roberts of Tufts for the past two years. It’s quite similar to what Willet suggests. I do eat nuts regularly and am not afraid of olive oil. It has been a lifesaver for me.

    Susan Rifkin Karon




    Nut consumption is also down because most preschools and early-elementary grades (and playdates and birthday parties, etc.) have restrictions because of allergies. Plenty of parents know that nuts are a good source of protein, but would never bring them to a group activity. 


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    I found your article about Willett and his nutritional philosophy based on research not only a pleasure to read but also very helpful in sorting through a mountain of misinformation and agribusiness-skewed diet recommendations.

    Susan Meyers

    Weston, Vermont


    I appreciated Edward H. Kaplan’s essay (Perspective, July 28). Our national obsession with terrorism has frustrated me since 2001. September 11th and the terror events since have been unspeakable — I am saddened for every person affected. But as a parent of two young children, I do not worry nearly as much about terrorism as I do about my children getting caught up in drugs and alcohol. Our nation virtually celebrates people who drink and do drugs — watch any movie and many sporting events, listen to many pop songs. I have to believe many more die and lose their jobs and families to drugs and alcohol than to terrorism.

    Kerry Sweeney Harris




    I enjoyed Bill Littlefield’s article concerning sports stars behaving badly (“The Fan I Have Become,” July 21). I have a good story about Pedro Martinez. My daughter has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and we had a walk every year to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. One year I asked Jose Offerman to sign baseballs for the walk. He did and then on his own took the fund-raising sheet into the Red Sox clubhouse. The Sox contributed more than $30,000 to the MDA that year. But more important, Offerman’s wife called me and asked whether Martinez could help Emily. He said he would take care of any expense to get her the help she needed. I wished I could have taken him up on the offer, but unfortunately there was and still is nothing to help my Emily. I love and respect him more for this than all the wonderful things he did for the Sox.

    Lorraine Liston


    COMMENTS? Write to or The Boston Globe Magazine/Comments, PO Box 55819, Boston, MA 02205-5819. Letters are subject to editing.