So, Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson has suggested that all Americans lose 10 pounds as a patriotic gesture, according to your Dec. 14 story, and Surgeon General David Satcher has compared obesity to cigarette smoking as a health risk. Well, I'm sure they mean well, but their words are facile and, frankly, poorly conceived. All Americans? What about those millions of Americans who already don't get enough food and are starving, many of them small children? What about the teenage girls already struggling with eating disorders, the result of media pressure to look thin? Also, comparing obesity to cigarette smoking as a public health problem is comparing apples to oranges. After all, no one ever died from secondhand fat.