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Environment

Eat less, exercise more

November 6, 2006 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 84, ISSUE 45

Correction

Oct. 9, page 56. In our attempts to win the Ig Nobel Physics Prize, the Newscripts gang has been experimenting with time travel. This caused us to refer to the 2007 Ig Nobel Prizes in a story about the 2006 Ig Nobel Prizes. We apologize for the error and assure you that next year's Ig Nobels meet the standards C&EN readers have come to expect. The article posted on C&EN Online (www.cen-online.org) has been corrected.

I found the article on systems biology by Celia Henry Arnaud extremely interesting (C&EN, July 31, page 17). However, to imply that this is the next step in reducing disease and improving the health of an individual is pure poppycock. Eating less and exercising more is the way to improve one's health.

In the box text (page 22), Kenneth L. Brigham states, "There are a relatively small number of processes that the normal body has to perform in order to stay healthy." I agree: Eat less, exercise more. In the article, Leroy E. Hood asks the question, "How do we keep people healthy, rather than waiting until they get sick and trying to make them healthy?" Simple: eat less, exercise more.

Why is this clear-cut concept so hard to implement? Because it isn't easy. It takes a sustained effort and a change in lifestyle. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Most people are waiting for researchers like Brigham and Hood to develop a pill or process to achieve the results that exercise and a healthy diet bring. It upsets me that I have to pay inflated health care premiums to pay for the 65% of our population that have serious health problems that they themselves created by becoming overweight.

The answer to reducing this burden is to educate children at a very young age on the value of diet and exercise. I believe that once this is achieved, a systems biology approach will truly be beneficial.

Tony Bode
Scottsdale, Ariz.

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