Your Letters: Short, Short Fiction; Angry Meals

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Host Scott Simon reads from a collection of listeners' letters, including responses to his essay about an effort in San Francisco to ban McDonald's Happy Meals and his interview about the book, Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer.


This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. Im Scott Simon. And time for your letters.

(Soundbite of typing and music)

SIMON: My essay last week about the effort in San Francisco to ban McDonalds Happy Meals prompted responses like this one, from Michael Lanza of Boise, Idaho: I was disappointed to hear your conclusion that you can put healthy food in front of kids, but you can't make them eat it - which effectively sent a message that there's little point in trying to get kids to eat better.

He adds: There's now much research out there regarding how to improve the eating habits of children, including one basic rule. You decide what they can eat and let them decide whether to eat it. Kids will eat when they're hungry, and will learn to eat healthy foods if healthy foods constitute the choices given to them by their parents. If you let them choose between fruit and French fries, most will pick fries. If you don't want them to eat fries, don't make fries one of the choices - at least most of the time.

Let's stay with that theme. Last week we also spoke with Mark Haub, a nutrition professor at Kansas State, who managed to lose 27 pounds in two months on a diet of mostly convenience store snacks.

Professor MARK HAUB (Kansas State University): I avoided whole grains. I avoided fruits. I did eat some fresh - you know, raw carrots and celery at dinner. I did eat some, but I tried to pick the foods that most people would consider as unhealthy.

SIMON: The secret to his weight loss success? The professor kept his food intake below 1,800 calories a day.

Lee Barnard posted this comment at our Web site: Why all the hubbub about the mysteries of losing weight? I know that fast food and processed food isn't good for a person, so I don't each much of it - seems uncomplicated and self-evident.

Finally, heard from a lot of people about our conversation last week with Robert Swartwood and his book, "Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer."

Mr. ROBERT SWARTWOOD (Editor, "Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer"): She: Macular. He: Parkinson's. She pushing, he directing, they get down the ramp, across the grass, through the gate. The wheels roll riverwards.

SIMON: Linda Miller of Napa, California, was among the many who submitted her own hint fiction. Title: "What Did You Do on Your First Date?" Veterinarian and grad student thumbed through astrology book together - currently, two dogs, five cats. Oh, yeah - three grown kids.

Ken Smith posted this submission at "A Private Club." After I learned the secret handshake of the Partners in Misery, I saw it everywhere.

Another, from Barb Smith, called "Trumpery of a Life": They met at a dumpster, my daughter related(ph) to her wedding party. Seeing my ex across the room, imagine if I heeded that signal.

You can say it all to us in 25 words, more or less. Go to our website,, click on the Contact Us link. We're on Twitter. I'm @nprscottsimon. The staff's @nprweekend. Our Facebook page is

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