Something to Chew On

After reading "Breaking News: You Still Need to Floss" [June 15], particularly the section headed "Flossing 101: Know Thy Enemy," I'm convinced that correct flossing requires preternatural skills. Once I've mastered (a) tearing down and reassembling a carburetor and (b) programming a VCR, I'll turn my sights on the perfect floss.

James V. Dolson


No Substitute for Rigorous Tests

I wanted to write to congratulate you on "A Spoonful of Sweeteners" [Lean Plate Club, June 8].

At first glance, I thought it was balanced, with quotes from a respected nutrition expert and an advocacy representative. Yet, a sidebar depicts a more negative picture on the individual sugar substitutes.

For example, the rundown relies heavily on information provided you from the advocacy group rather than the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

There are millions of individuals who rely heavily on these ingredients each day, such as people living with diabetes. Some consumers may have been misled or unnecessarily worried by the sidebar.

The FDA has a long-standing reputation in assuring the safety of sugar substitutes and other food ingredients available today. I believe the FDA. I think your readers deserve to know, for example, that Acesulfame K has been thoroughly tested and approved, as have all other sugar substitutes approved in the United States. You may want to refer readers to the FDA consumer article "Sugar Substitutes: Americans Opt for Sweetness and Lite."

John Foreyt, PhD, director,

Behavioral Medicine Research Center

Baylor College of Medicine