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December 06, 2004
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December 06, 2004


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Where did L. Jon Wertheim do his research, in a cave? He ignores one of the most successful women's leagues, the LPGA. More than 100 women have earned more than $1 million during their professional careers, and that doesn't include ancillary income.

David J. Kolander, Scottsdale, Ariz.

Youth Movement

As a physical educator reading Get Out and Play! (Nov. 15), I want to be clear about one thing: We do not teach gym. The gym is where we teach, but what we teach is physical education. Wake up, America--we are the fattest country on the planet! Most of the blame has to be placed on parents. When I go out to dinner and see a child who is already obese stuffing his or her face with dessert, I have to ask myself why the parents are allowing this. It's time to stop being your children's friend and start being their parent.

Derek Muharem, Naugatuck, Conn.

Get Out and Play! was both disturbing and insightful. As a high school student myself, I know how difficult it is to fit an exercise routine into a busy schedule. That's why I ride my bike seven miles each way to get to and from my school in Manhattan. Sadly, many places are not bike-friendly enough to make such a routine feasible. Adding bike paths is just one of many things our communities can do to make it easier and safer to get exercise.

Stephen Kahn Bonnett, Brooklyn

There are, as you note, many causes for child obesity, but to lay even part of the blame at the feet of an educational system struggling mightily to increase the academic success of American children is a serious mistake. Then again, blaming the schools for any social ill is a time-honored tradition. Let parents turn off the TV and unplug the video games; let parents take more control of their kids' nutrition; let communities focus more on physical-fitness programs and less on elite competitive sports programs; then let schools pull some money--and emphasis--out of interscholastic sports programs, which benefit the few, and put the money into P.E. programs and facilities that benefit all. None of which is going to happen.

Jim Weber, Austin

I'm in the 10th grade, and for me class begins at eight and I don't return home until six, when I must do a load of homework. My school has two $6,000 snack machines but couldn't ante up the funds to build a field. Your article on child obesity did not shock me.

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