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The environment inside our skins, the obesity epidemic and the food industry

The Guardian logo The Guardian 12/10/2017 Letters
Sugar lumps on a spoon: ‘Perhaps sugar should be seen as the drug that it is,’ says Lizzie Hill. © Getty Images ‘Perhaps sugar should be seen as the drug that it is,’ says Lizzie Hill.

The obesity epidemic (Report, 11 October), like lung cancer, has a single chief cause which can be found by following the money. The profit from this epidemic can be found in the pockets of the food industry.

We now accept that polluters pay for polluting the environment outside our skins, but we have another equally important environment inside our skins. Over 100 years ago Claude Bernard introduced this idea and said: “The stability of the internal environment is the condition for the free and independent life.” Much research since Bernard’s time has verified the importance of the internal environment and hence the importance of what goes into it.

The cost of treating obesity in the NHS should fall on the shoulders of those who profit by causing it. The food industry cooperates well in defending its products, so it should have no difficulty in deciding how to apportion the costs of this epidemic and helping to restore our free and independent lives.
Gwen Parr
Pulborough, West Sussex

• Look at those old black and white photos of wartime children in Britain – not a fat or even plump child in sight. Sugar was rationed then, and I still have a distaste for sweet food. Perhaps sugar should be seen as the drug that it is. Drug dealers go to prison. Problem solved.
Lizzie Hill
Guildford, Surrey

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