Of Crunches and Lunches
Re "The Myth About Exercise" [Aug. 17]: I must take issue with some of the points portrayed as fact. Numerous studies have shown that exercise is indeed central to an effective weight-loss program. The key concept is a simple equation of energy balance: calories expended throughout the day must exceed calories consumed as food. And contrary to the data selected for your article, studies have shown that most exercisers are not uncontrollably hungry after a workout. We strongly encourage reporting that portrays both sides of an issue so readers can decide for themselves--instead of being led down a potentially harmful path. James Pivarnik, President American College of Sports Medicine INDIANAPOLIS
This is one of the best articles I've ever read on the subject. I have maintained for years that exercise contributes very little to weight loss, but I could never have explained it so eloquently. My reasons for exercising are all the other ones listed. William Jenner, ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.
You missed the point. The message should be "Get moving, and plan healthy, low-calorie snacks." If the article discourages even a few on-the-fence exercisers, you have done your readers a huge disservice. Barbie Collins, HINGHAM, MASS.
Your entire article is based on the assumption that the vast majority of regular exercisers eat unhealthy foods. Why, then, don't you focus on the food? Charles Toppan, BROOKLINE, MASS.
No credible fitness expert would argue that one can lose weight through exercise alone, but the tone of your article was unnecessarily discouraging. If people use exercise as an excuse to eat poorly, that's a lack of discipline or guidance, not a "myth" about exercise. Interestingly, I find that now after workouts, I crave healthy foods, many of which are surprisingly tasty. Nancy Melucci, SACRAMENTO, CALIF.
I'll Take a Pre-Owned, Please
Re "Cash for Clunkers" [Aug. 17]: it is great to see new cars selling, the economy boosted and gas guzzlers reined in. But I am dismayed by pictures of late-model, low-mileage vehicles being destroyed. There should be an additional layer of the CARS program that would allow the millions of people who could never buy a new car to trade up their really old clunkers for more-efficient used cars. Lydia Ross Hartt, HOT SPRINGS, ARK.
Making a Move on Health Care
Ramesh Ponnuru makes the case that President Barack Obama's health-care plan might fail because it is filled with contradictions [Aug. 17]. It may not be perfect, but it is a program most Americans support. Six times since 1948, we have elected Presidents who were committed, at least on paper, to the principle of universal health care. I think we have failed our system, not the other way around. We send people to Washington to do our work. Sadly, they don't provide us with the results we want. Instead, lobbyists for health-related corporations get what they want. So let us look really hard at our system--and also at ourselves. Tom Edgar, BOISE, IDAHO
The Kids' Journalism Is Alright