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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 November 2018

Feeding children junk food could be construed as abuse

Our readers have their say on Afghanistan, Israel and diabetes

There is easy access to fast food with outlets on every street corner, willing to deliver to almost any address
There is easy access to fast food with outlets on every street corner, willing to deliver to almost any address

I write in reference to your online article Fast food putting Arab men at 'risk of prostate cancer' (October 22): for busy parents, junk food offers a quick and easy solution but it provides no alternative to nutritious meals. During the past few years, carbonated soft drinks, crisps, toffees, chocolates, doughnuts and pizzas have penetrated every corner of our society. These junk foods are always available in school and college canteens. Whenever we step out of the house, we see them being served from petrol stations to shopping malls – and even hospital canteens. Medically it is proven that junk food is harmful to health. Even the fact it is called “junk” conjures an image of something unserviceable, useless and unnecessary.

The consequences of junk food on children are terrible, irrespective of whether we allow them to eat these foods once a month or every day. Over the past few decades, people have become incredibly busy in their professional and social lives, so some parents feel it is time-consuming and complicated to make healthy food at home. But research shows junk food can cause memory and learning problems. It can increase the risk of illness, lead to loss of self-control and even cause depression in children. While working as a hospital registrar in Pakistan, we treated a nine-year-old child who was admitted to casualty suffering from severe abdominal pain and was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Despite coming from a well-to-do background, he was addicted to junk food. Feeding your children this rubbish is a form of abuse.

Dr Faisal Khan, Saudi Arabia

Afghanistan requires support from the region and world

I refer to your article Afghans vote for second day amid violence and technical problems (October 22). The continuing violence is disappointing and a concern for common people hoping to see progress and peace in Afghanistan. The large turnout in polling stations is an indication that people are looking for an end to the violence.

Despite having an elected government in power, the recent attacks prove that hostile groups are still active and can hold the government hostage. The country requires support from the region as well as world powers. The primary responsibility of any government is to ensure the safety of people and property. Let us hope for the emergence of a peaceful Afghanistan very soon.

Ramachandran Nair, Muscat

Dear Mr Netanyahu, please treat fellow humans properly

I write in reference to your article Israel delays eviction of West Bank Bedouin village (October 22): I implore you, Mr Benjamin Netanhayu, to treat humans as humans and not as sacrificial goats at the altar of your ambitions.

Name withheld by request