Tonawanda News

November 16, 2013

TUCKER: Who's to blame for obesity?

The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — Seems the American Heart Association and other health organizations want doctors to shoulder the blame for our overeating. Doctors, they say, should try to be responsible for curbing overweight adults and children ... everything from counseling to recommending weight loss surgery and referrals to weight loss programs.

All well and good. But how about personal responsibility? How often to do you see kids (or adults) outside playing, running or even biking or walking? How about playing a pickup basketball or baseball game? How about putting down the iPod, shutting off the TV, computer and other such gizmos and going for a walk? We live a sedentary lifestyle. We drive rather than walk whether to the drive-through lanes for food or banking, shopping and other places. t’s no wonder there’s weight gain. For myself, I live an easy walking distance (two blocks) to Tops Market. I can count on one hand the times in a month that I’ve walked there. Is that the doctor’s responsibility?

And what about food manufacturers and candy makers, should they share the blame? An occasional candy bar isn’t as much a problem as the snack foods and high calorie, cholesterol-filled items that are consumed while sitting and watching TV or playing a computer game.

Guess the point is, obesity is everyone’s personal problem. Need help? See a doctor. But let’s not put the onus about obesity on them. Certainly they can help, but with the way the government wants to totally control our lives, it’s one place they should butt out. (No pun intended.)

Long ago

Connie Powers of North Tonawanda sent a letter with an enclosed poem and articles. Connie said she was a cook at Spaulding Fibre for 32 years. “No pension,” she wrote.

“In the middle 1940s, my mother took me to the beautiful Star Theater to see my favorite Roy Rogers, Dale Evans and Gene Autry (films),” she wrote. “I can still smell the popcorn and the delicious Milk Duds. After the show we would walk over to Gastown to visit my father who worked in back of the Gas Company at Erie 3, New York Central Railroad Tower as a telegraph foreman.I was real proud of him as he was in charge of guiding all the trains on the right track. There were about 20 stairs to get to the top in the tower. Dad also worked at Erie 2 on Oliver and the New York Central ticket office. Those were the days.”


As mentioned before, one grandson has celiac disease, meaning he must eat gluten-free food. He’s in college and a box of gluten-free goodies is always welcome. Luckily some friends alerted me to the aisles of gluten-free food at Wegmans, a store I rarely, if ever, go to because our home is so close to Tops, Aldi, Shop-a-Lot and Dash’s markets. But that said, whenever the need arises, a stop at Wegmans fills the bill. A friend suggested I try Trader Joe’s because she said the store has many gluten-free items. When I arrived at the store, the parking lot was not even half-full, which was a joy. The very friendly clerk handed me five pages of gluten-free items sold by the store. Unfortunately, the copies were so faintly printed, most could not be read.

“Do you have these items in one section of the store or in certain aisles?” I inquired.

“Oh, no. They are in the regular aisles. You shouldn’t have any problem finding them,” she answered.

After 15 minutes and not finding one item, I left and finished shopping at Wegmans.

Live and learn.


Do you recall when Heinz sold the small 14-ounce size of ketchup in glass bottles? Then everything went plastic with jars sporting large tops so they could be stored upside down. I wrote the company to express my displeasure with plastic. No reply and the plastic kept coming. Wouldn’t you know on a recent trip to Dash’s Market, there on the shelf were glass bottles of Heinz’s ketchup, 14 ounces. It doesn’t take much to keep me happy.


Several readers asked to have some “old time” stores mentioned as memory-joggers. Here’s a few that were offered: Wagner’s Barber Shop, Dickinson’s Fish Market, Schreiber Town and Country, Wythe Tire & Battery and Mohican Market (the latter with sawdust on the floor and Heinz ketchup only 79 cents.)

Getting older

Walked through the cosmetic department at a store in the mall last week and a young woman was handing out samples of a face cream.

“This product will erase facial wrinkles,” she promised.

“Are you kidding?” was my reply. “I have wrinkles that are older than you and no cream will take them away.”

Contact community editor Barbara Tucker at 693-1000, ext. 4110, or