Must stem the tide of obesity in nation

In the United States, 37 percent of the population is obese. However, 61 percent of health care dollars each year are spent on obesity-related illness or problems (Fair Food Network, March 26, 2013).

Obesity is not a disease, it is an out-of-control consumption of food and a lack of proper exercise. According to Healthy America, the cost of adult obesity is estimated between $147 billion and $210 billion. If Obamacare is not bad enough, just think about the percentage of kids continuing down the obesity pathway. Every healthy person will be stuck paying for a lifetime of care for this exploding problem.

We all have a few pounds to lose, but this is more than a few pounds, it's joint pain, shortness of breath, sleep apnea, increase risk for colorectal cancer, foot problems and lost productivity in the workplace, all as a result of excessive consumption.

You know this is a big problem when Disneyland's "It's A Small World" ride has to be reinforced to accommodate patrons more than 250 pounds.

Susan Beck

Oakland

School bond? Yes, but also maintain facilities

I hope a much-needed Fremont school bond issue will pass in the future. That said, maintenance is also important.

As a volunteer track coach for more than 10 years at American High, I have seen a steady, disappointing decline in the condition of our facilities. One example is the football field and track. None of our facilities meets the minimal standards for safe, competitive athletics.

Most maintenance is done by coaches. The track's poor drainage renders it unusable during rains. One of our coaches grades the track himself to keep it functional. There is no high jump pit. The football field, used by the track team for important drills, is an absolute disaster, full of gopher holes and goose feces.

It is our classroom -- and it is unsanitary and disgusting. The field is uneven and only marginally covered with grass.

For functional practices we must use the district's facility at Tak Fudena stadium. Our students have to commute after school to this always-crowded facility.

A new bond, yes, but take care of what we have now.

Bob Douglass

Fremont

Upgrade standards for train tank cars

Enough already with these hysterical stories about fracked oil coming through the Bay Area in rail tanker cars.

Am I the only one who sees trains of tank cars going through Oakland and Berkeley and Richmond every day? The dozens, if not hundreds, of tank cars stored in sidings? What do you think is in these, olive oil? They're full of ethanol, diesel and gasoline, which is far more flammable and explosive than any crude oil.

Let's just be honest here, it's all about fracking and the delusion that if we don't allow fracked oil in California it's going to stop.

Furthermore, shipping oil (or any cargo) by rail is under the jurisdiction of the Federal Railroad Administration and interstate commerce laws, no matter how many self-important local politicians think otherwise, so all the chest thumping and posturing is just a waste of time.

The reasonable thing to do is get our representatives in Washington to upgrade the standards for tank cars to be able to survive a derailment.

Dean Lekas

Oakland

Might rethink view on nuclear accident

A recent letter writer stated he believes the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown was just a little blip in the industry, having absolute no consequence then or in the future.

That letter writer might change his understanding of the disaster if he -- and everyone else -- would turn on the computer and Google: USS Ronald Reagan Fukushima Daiichi.

Janet Whitaker

Fremont

No proof humans cause climate change

I'm amazed by the so-called "overwhelming evidence" that humans have had an extensive impact on climate change.

In the 1970s, we were supposed to fear "global cooling." In the 1990s, it was "global warming." And now, that the Earth hasn't gotten warmer in the last 10 years, it's called "climate change." To believe humans are affecting climate change, one has to know what climate is considered normal for the Earth. Unless you can define "normal," there's no ability to say what abnormal climate is. There hasn't been record-keeping long enough for anyone to say what's normal for the Earth.

Humans have added CO2 to the atmosphere in the last 100 years. Scientists say warming's consistent with an increase in CO2 because they can't find any other reason for Earth warming. This has been interpreted by the public that all other possibilities have been eliminated.

So, humans are putting CO2 into the atmosphere; let's scare people, politicize it, raise money and get votes.

Who better to do that than the Democratic Party, where everyone's a victim.

Philip R. La Scola

Livermore