June 7, 2012

I applaud New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to curb soda consumption [“New York’s plan to curb soda size stirs new controversy over obesity,” news article,” June 3]. But when people pass a food truck, they see items that can be just as dangerous to their health as is soda, such as cheeseburgers, hot dogs and potato chips.

Such junk food, like soda, can be high in sugar. It also tends to be usually high in sodium, fat and cholesterol, all major contributors to obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. More than 100 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes. The disease costs our country $174 billion each year.

Cutting out soda is a great first step. But to make a real dent in our nation’s obesity epidemic, public officials need to focus on the larger toxic-food environment.

Susan Levin, Washington

The writer is director of nutrition education for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.