Letters: Walking drunk and eating junk

Kai Ryssdal Jan 6, 2012

Kai Ryssdal: Our letters segment this Friday begins with our most recent installment of Freakonomics Radio about drunk walking, and how when you look at the numbers, walking drunk for a mile turns out to be more dangerous than driving drunk for a mile.

Stephanie Caldera from Portland, Ore. — and a whole bunch of others — wrote to say that statistics aside, we missed the point.

Stephanie Caldera: Yes, it’s a shame that a certain number of people are killed each year when walking under the influence of alcohol, but it’s a far greater shame when a person decides to operate a 2000-pound machine under the influence of alcohol, and crashes that vehicle. When walking drunk, it’s very unlikely that you weigh 2000 pounds and are capable of killing other people with your actions.

We had a commentary yesterday from food writer Mark Bittman, in which he took on what he called the junk food industry’s lobbying against food guidelines.

Rachel Shininger from Cincinnati, Ohio, wrote to say, ya know, it really isn’t about regulation.

Rachel Shininger: I’m all for regulation when it protects individuals who don’t have the power to protect themselves. Sugar cereal, however, isn’t one of those areas. When my dad raised me, he said “no” when I asked for that sugar cereal or junk food. What happened to our ability to exert self control?

Finally, Adriene Hill filed a story for us on Tuesday about gas mileage, and how only by driving perfectly might one be able to get a car’s advertised mpg.

Gary Setnor of San Juan Bautista, Calif., says perfection? Not quite.

Gary Setnor: My average fuel economy of both city and highway driving is over 42 miles per gallon — much higher than the EPA estimate of 30 for my car. I’m not perfect, I just accelerate slowly, drive under 60 on the highway, coast to stops and keep my tires inflated.

We’re not perfect, we know that. Tell us what you really think.

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