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LETTERS

Enlisting communities in 'the fat war'

April 07, 2006

Re "Black Churches Lean On Obese Members," April 2

We all know about the obesity epidemic, with almost one-third of Americans qualifying for that label, but where are the answers? The future looks grim. We need new ways to motivate millions of people to change their behavior.

As a nursing student, I have felt that my lifestyle modification advice has not been all that well received by my obese patients. I wonder if in order for it to be effective, the inspiration needs to come from within the community.

I was encouraged to read the article about black churches' efforts with obese members. It is exactly this kind of communal unity that is necessary to fight the fat war.

The quick fixes of fad diets and stomach staples are unsustainable. A return to the basics of food moderation and exercise is the key, but we all know how hard bad habits are to break. That's where the community is crucial and a group effort pays off. Peer and mentor support can help make a healthier lifestyle obtainable. I can only hope that other communities also take up the fight.

EMILY FISHER

San Francisco

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