Voices needed on obesity

I just finished reading "A Call to Action." You are so right when you say "It's easy to blame."

I have been trying to get people to look and listen to their children since 2003. I have formed a Walk Club and an offshoot, "SOK, Save Our Kids."

We are faced with one of the worst problems we have been faced with in many years. I have read and listened to many articles and say that it is time we quit talking and writing about "obesity" and step up the efforts to make changes. Parents need to be talked to, not at. They have to become involved.

I have many ideas. I intend to go to Springfield with just a few of the ideas I have, such as clean up the vending machines or get them out of places that receive state and federal money and having manufacturers color code labels.

If people like you and I and countless others don't preach this problem to the limit, then we will lose this next generation. I have declared war and I intend to go on the attack to rid obesity and diabetes. Thanks for the soap box.

Let's get government, schools, parks and corporate America at the table and "Make a Plan." Lou Novinson Oak Lawn

Cloth diapers not so bad

In the January 2007 issue of Chicago Parent, I was happy to see the brief article "Back To Cloth" by Jocelyn Black. I used cloth diapers on my 13-month-old son from birth to 9 months. Cloth diapers have definitely evolved over the past couple of decades. You may buy individual diapers and modern, easy-to-use, leak-proof covers (instead of vinyl or rubber pants) or you may buy all-in-one diaper and covers, which are slightly more expensive.

My husband and I decided on cloth diapers partly for environmental reasons, but also because I did not want my baby, with skin softer-than-soft, nestled in plastic. We used a diaper service that serves most of greater Chicagoland (Bottoms Up Diaper Service) and the cost was nearly equal to that of plastic diapers, and I did not have to wash or sterilize them. They were just as convenient to use as plastic diapers, which we did use when traveling. I purchased the covers separately online, and when my son outgrew them, I sold them on Ebay for nearly the same price I paid for them.

At 9 months of age, my son was crawling and the cloth diapers did not stay on him as readily as they did when he was not mobile, so we switched to plastic disposables. However, I am glad I was able to use the cloth diapers for as long as I did. They were super soft, convenient and, best of all, my son never had even one diaper rash the entire time I used them.

I highly recommend them, and also the Bottoms Up service that I used. They were fantastic. By the way, there are many places online to buy cloth diapers and their products, but you won't find them anywhere on any shelves in this metro area. Tracy Lieberman Merrionette Park

Star struck

I was most disappointed to find two articles in this latest issue (January 2007) focusing on celebrities. Chicago Parent has always been about everyday parents and somehow I shudder to think that we're heading in the direction of being yet another star-struck magazine. Real parents, in everyday situations, made Chicago Parent what it was. Not star-struck articles. Naazish YarKhan Glendale Heights

Smart Love fan

I was very disappointed to see in your current issue that Smart Love will no longer appear in Chicago Parent. That was my favorite part of the magazine and the first thing I always turned to. I thought the Piepers' advice was very interesting and helpful and they really seem to know what they are talking about-in fact, this weekend I implemented some advice I found from them on their Web site about how to get your kids to clean up (make it a game where you see who can pick up more items) and it worked like a charm.

I will greatly miss their column and wish it was still going to run in Chicago Parent. Dave Juhl Naperville

Editor's note: We received 20 similar e-mails asking for the return of the Smart Love advice column. It will not return. Our new column, The Pragmatic Parent, offers practical, real-world advice on the issues facing today's parents. Other letters can be found at www.chicagoparent.com.

Likes being in the know

I love the E-news Update, which lists and reviews fun things to do as a family. My children are college age, but we still enjoy outings together when possible. Your reviews have been most helpful. I am a preschool director and I share the information with staff and parents. I know they appreciate it also. Keep them coming!

Debbie Foerster Antioch

Editor's note: To sign up for the weekly e-newsletter, go online at www.chicagoparent.com.


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