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Taking Comfort In New Ways of Eating



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Americans need better ways of thinking about food. The comfort we take from food could leave our families in need of comforting because obesity is killing us.

As dramatic new federal warnings underscore, fat-filled diets and sedentary lifestyles are fueling increases in heart disease, diabetes and other deadly health threats. Some experts have said life spans might shorten.

That can happen. Expecting a new pill to rescue us is wrongheaded, chancy and, at best, expensive.

We can do a lot together, through government. We need zoning for neighborhoods where walking is a transportation option. The federal government should require better disclosure of nutrition information, especially in restaurants. Thanks in part to Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, the state finally is poised to push school districts on junk food and exercise policies.

There is even more individuals, consumers and businesses can do. McDonald's made a good move by eliminating giant french fry portions. Consumers should spend their dining-out dollars where they find healthy options and life-size, rather than supersize, portions. Grocery stores can emphasize healthy local foods and put unhealthy processed products on a shelf-space diet.

Obesity has much to do with our own choices. Changing how we think about food would be a good first step toward improving how we eat, exercise and take care of ourselves and those around us.

To see more of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, for online features, or to subscribe, go to http://seattlep-I.com.

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