Readers Write: Dec. 4

We’re responsible for our own diets

The Coca-Cola Co. should not be accused of causing obesity any more than wine should be blamed for alcoholism. Coca-Cola does not hide the fact that some of its products contain sugar. It is our own responsibility to limit the amount of sugar we consume, just as we have to beware of addiction to alcohol. When I was growing up, Cokes, like desserts, were occasional treats, not consumed daily. They certainly were not available in school cafeterias, and obesity was far less common than now.

I do have trouble, though, with restaurants that do not inform customers that processed sugar has been added to foods such as vegetables, where sugar is not normally expected. This makes vegetables tastier, but it is dangerous for diabetics, and makes eating out counter-productive for people who want to keep weight under control. Prohibition did not cure alcoholism, nor will banning sugar cure gluttony. Those who produce food and beverages are not responsible for our children’s health or our health; we are.

MARGARET CURTIS, ATLANTA

Intelligence should refocus on terror

In the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks, the question is rightly being asked, is this country well-enough protected by our intelligence agencies against similar attacks by radical groups? The answer is that agencies, including the CIA, should decrease their emphasis on covert military-like operations and focus on their core mission of basic intelligence work by field operatives, coupled with world-class analysis of intelligence data to identify would-be terrorists before they act. Without this reset of the CIA mission, we are in grave danger of experiencing the next Paris-like attacks in our own country.

IAN SHAW, CUMMING

Memories of more colorful Christmas

When I attended Georgia State in the mid-1950s, I worked at Rich's after classes. Christmas decorations at Rich's were very elegant — white trees and white lights. It fit right in with their bright counters. Then I would go home to my warm green tree and multi-colored lights, which I consider traditional. I could look at the tree for hours, because it was a thing of beauty. Not many homes have multi-colored lights on their Christmas trees anymore. It seems like the house with the most white lights on it wins. To me, it reminds me of a commercial establishment like Rich's. I'll have to admit, we do have a small bird tree in our foyer with white lights, but our big tree has those beautiful multi-colored lights. Merry Christmas!

JOE ORR, ALPHARETTA