October 17, 2012

Question Posed to Editor of New York Times

The following is my question to Jill Abramson, Executive Editor of the New York Times (sent today, October 17, 2012):

Hello Ms. Abramson,
Thank you for providing this forum for NY Times readers.
My question has to do with the epidemic of "lifestyle" diseases: diabetes, gastro-intestinal disorders, heart disease, hypertension, gout, etc., whose etiology stems from Metabolic Syndrome, which stems from obesity.

I am asking if the Times is willing to commit to a concerted effort to have reporters investigate what specific and practical/real things we as a society can do to begin to lessen the incidence of these related diseases.  Can we begin a real dialogue with the food industry (all aspects of the food industry from farming to manufacture to distribution to fast food/leisure dining), with Congress, with big pharma, with large and small corporations being willing to change the vending and food available to workers, being willing to have paid exercise breaks, etc.; to see what can be done to reverse these deadly and very costly diseases.

Would fast food be willing to begin to serve all of their bread products with 30% whole wheat flour, increasing over a 10 year period to 80% whole wheat flour?  Will Congress be willing to investigate the rise in obesity with the increase of sugared drinks (including the juice provided by the WIC program)?  Would Big Pharma be willing to devote half of their advertising time to prevention of the GI, erectile dysfunction, high cholesterol, diabetes for which they tout their medicines?

When I hear the Presidential and VP debates mention the rising cost of Medicare.....no one, not a one mentions the need to control and reverse our obesity/Metabolic Syndrome problem.
Medicare costs will not begin to be checked unless and until we do.

Thank you again for your willingness to read and respond to our questions.
Mary Farkas
(I hold an M.S., and M.A. and am a retired Registered Dietitian)