Readers’ Forum Nov. 29


Corruption and dietary guidelines

In 2016 the U.S. food guidelines should have indicated that red and processed meats were cancerous. The guidelines were adjusted due to financial and political pressure from the meat industry. In response to this issue Richard Wender M.D. of the American Cancer Society said, “By omitting specific diet recommendations, such as eating less red and processed meat, these guidelines miss a critical and significant opportunity to reduce suffering and death from cancer.” This is not the only instance of political corruption affecting our dietary suggestions.

Major companies pay lobbyists to sway those affecting change in a way that will benefit their industry and make them money. They do this while simultaneously ignoring the scientific information provided by doctors and dietitians. For example, the sugar industry funds scientific research to conclude that high fat foods are more detrimental to health than sugar in order to benefit the success of their industry.

I find it alarming that the information we are being “fed” affects not only the success or failure of the food industry, but our own health and wellbeing. Obesity, cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease are largely tied to the foods we choose to eat, and the foods we choose are influenced by the information given to us.

My question to you is how often are we kept in the dark when it comes to scientific discovery regarding our health and the food we consume? Based on the information I’ve learned, I believe that it happens more often than we think.

Vashti Musig
Sandy, Utah

A tradition that deserves respect

As a Utah Army National Guardsman I like to think I know a bit about what patriotism is. I know that one sure way I display this feeling happens at 5:30 p.m. every weekday on our campus. The bell tower will chime to mark the half hour, then you will immediately hear the sound of the bugle for the retreat of the colors. Sound familiar? I immediately stop whatever I am doing, proceed to stand at the position of attention, place my right hand over my heart, and enjoy the beautiful melody of The Star-Spangled Banner.

Except, not everything is as it should be. There are still students that continue to walk around as if nothing special is occurring. That is absolutely unacceptable.

Surely, if you understood the sacrifices that were made to make this country what it is you would spare 45 seconds of your precious time to stand in place and show some appreciation and respect for our national flag and what it stands for.

Perhaps think about the over 1 million U.S. soldiers to date who have given their lives, the plethora of simple freedoms we enjoy, and simply the beautiful country that we live in. Surely this warrants our deep and abiding respect?

My hope is that those of you who do not stop and face the flag will choose to from here on out. You owe at least that much. If you already do these things, I commend you for doing what is right.

Spencer Ng
Poway, California

Social media is destroying your social life

A few weeks ago, I attended my student ward for the first time and I recognized a girl I had met at EFY years ago who I was now following on Instagram. Even though I had seen her posts for the last three years, I was suddenly petrified and fearful that she would recognize me. Instead of reintroducing myself, I shrunk into the masses and pretended nothing happened. The awkwardness created by “following” her and “liking” her updates, but then actually seeing her again scared me, and even though she’s in my ward, we may never reconnect.

You probably understand and have had similar experiences. Although there are some benefits to using social media, the communication skills we are losing and the friendships we are missing out on outweigh the benefits of these technological wonders.

When the primary interactions of young adults are through social media, it is possible to put on a misleading persona. Social media apps such as Instagram and Facebook have made it possible for many college students to meet and begin “talking” (or “insta-stalking,” perhaps?) before even meeting each other. Even if you already think you know someone well, using Snapchat and texting allows friends to paint a picture of themselves by meticulously thinking out every word of a text or retaking a selfie 20 times before sending it.

Every interaction on social media is a risk of miscommunication, nonchalance, and possible degradation of your personal self-esteem. Thus, I encourage you to make your interactions genuine.

Melanie Staten
Albuquerque, New Mexico

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