Re: "Dulles Rail board members spend big on exotic junkets," July 9.
Several assertions on travel by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority need clarification. The headline, referring to the "Dulles Rail Board," incorrectly implies that travel was somehow related to the rail project. The travel cited in the story concerned airport business and had nothing to do with the rail project.
MWAA's board travel consists of attending directors' meetings, fulfilling other official board duties such as briefings with the financial community, pursuing economic development opportunities for the region and new business for the airports and participating in aviation-industry conferences that also are attended by numerous officials of other airports. Travel to meetings is necessary for federally appointed board members who are required to reside outside the D.C. region.
MWAA has been reviewing and updating its travel policy to make sure it reflects industry "best practices;" assures efficiency, transparency and accountability; and makes certain that expenditures are clearly beneficial to our mission of public service.
Quince T. Brinkley Jr.
Vice president and secretary
Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
Re: Government Should Stop Promoting Unhealthy Diets, July 9.
Maya Brown's Op-Ed was misleading and only serves to further confuse the public about healthy eating habits. The question posed was, "... does MyPlate misinform Americans about healthy eating?" The answer is absolutely not.
MyPlate symbolizes the five food groups using a familiar mealtime visual, and serves as an inspiring reminder to consumers to choose foods from among the food groups to create healthy meals. Because we all have different dietary needs, MyPlate points Americans to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans for more comprehensive advice on making healthy food choices. For more information, I invite your readers to visit choosemyplate.gov/supertracker to find resources that can help them plan, analyze and track their diet and physical activity.
Brown's broad attack on grain consumption in the diet is inaccurate. Less than 5 percent of Americans consume the minimum recommended amount of 3 ounces of whole grains daily. Instead, most Americans consume refined grains found in products high in added sugars and solid fats -- like cakes, cookies and doughnuts -- and in mixed dishes, such as pizza, which are also high in sodium. The DGA recommend cutting back substantially on the consumption of refined grains, with the goal of making half of our grain intake as whole grains. This advice is based on science as well as comments from the general public.
The DGA and MyPlate encourage Americans to make half their plate fruits and vegetables, make at least half their grains whole grains, and switch to fat-free or low-fat (1 percent) milk, while reducing calorie consumption and increasing physical activity. With more than one-third of children and more than two-thirds of adults in the United States overweight or obese, this -- not fad diets -- is the kind of advice that puts Americans on the path towards a healthier lifestyle.
Agriculture undersecretary for
food, nutrition and consumer services