To fight fat, put down fork

The F-word [fructose]” [Sept. 3] accurately captures America’s battle with food. Sugar remains a popular culprit for weight gain, but data show that while sugar consumption remains fairly stable, our obesity rates are still skyrocketing.

Consumption of cheese, the number one source of saturated fat in the American diet, has tripled over the past 30 years. The average American now consumes more than 33 pounds of cheese, 200 pounds of meat and nearly 60 pounds of added fats and oils each year, compared with 11 pounds of cheese, 178 pounds of meat and 38 pounds of added fat in 1970.

As we advance national wellness initiatives and as we continue to discuss ways to fight obesity, let’s take a closer look at the center of our plates.

Joseph Gonzales, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine,Washington

The toll of organ donation

Regarding the article about losing a relative and organ donation [“In family’s loss, finding a last gift,” Sept. 3], I went through a somewhat similar set of decisions with my 51-year-old brother in 2009. Once I made the choice to let him go and give the gift of life to others still here, it was surprisingly painful to go through the process of having him declared brain-dead. I had never contemplated that with organ donation there is not the finality of the last breath, the pulling of the plugs, the silence of all those machines. It took its toll on me to watch him progress to brain-dead, but your story reminds me that two men are alive and well today thanks to my brother’s kidneys. That brings me comfort through my tears. Thank you for sharing this story and putting light on the importance of organ donation.

If sugar consumption is stable, why do the obesity rates continue to rise? Reader weighs in. (Deb Lindsey/For the Washington Post)

Cheryl Bruner, Washington

Fertility program

We were encouraged to see your article “Pre-chemo options may help women preserve fertility” [Aug. 27], which discussed the costs surrounding fertility preservation for patients with cancer.

Walgreens and Ferring Pharmaceuticals have a collaboration to provide free access to certain fertility medications and educational resources as part of Ferring’s Heart Beat program. The program is a patient assistance initiative funded by Ferring and provided as a public service to eligible women of reproductive age who have received a new cancer diagnosis and wish to under­go fertility preservation prior to the start of their cancer treatment. The program offers eligible patients select fertility medications at no cost.

Aaron Graff, Ferring Pharmaceuticals Inc., Parsippany, N.J.