Readers Respond

Ridiculous 'war on cola'

I guess I wasn't surprised by your recent editorial slamming colas and other sugary beverages ("A new kind of cola war," Oct. 22). It's obvious you firmly believe that no one is ever responsible for anything that happens in his or her life because it's always someone else's fault.

I was waiting to read a sentence that blamed George Bush, but thankfully that road was left untraveled, for a change.

I grew up in the 1970s, and colas (Coke and many others) were as available then as they are now, possibly even more so. Our high school had a vending machine that dispensed soft drinks. My parents had them in the home. At parties, colas and other sugary drinks were abundant, as were potato chips and other so-called "bad" foods.

Yet somehow my friends and I did not end up morbidly obese or afflicted with the associated diseases. Rather than blame Coke for juvenile and adult obesity, maybe we should blame America's adults for their own health problems and those of their children.

Perhaps it might be better to attack things like the proliferation of laptop and notebook computers, "social media" that steal hours every day from some people's lives, or maybe just the lack of real physical exercise and education programs in our schools.

In the 1970s, most households had a television, but neither I nor my friends parked our butts in front of it for hours on end; our parents made us go outside and associate with other humans instead.

Physical activity is what prevented us from becoming obese children — and yes, after a game of touch football we all committed the crime of having a Coke or similar drink, maybe even two.

We also ate pizza and French fries, which, surprisingly, have been spared the ire of The Sun. Chocolate and other snacks? Check: We all indulged.

Until adults (parents and to some extent the school systems) get back to stressing physical activity, nothing will solve the problem of obese children. Attacking food and drink with a "war on cola" seems nothing more than someone's way of attempting to feel superior, or maybe it's a psychological disorder.

Furthermore, since many readers of The Sun were themselves once teenagers we shouldn't forget that when you tell a teenager or a pre-teen that they can't have something "because we say so," it usually backfires.

Ed Roth, Ellicott City

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