Limited and biased view of weight loss organization

weight loss As an officer of TOPS, I feel I must respond to Mr. Zimmer's letter (WW, Sept. 5).
    Mr. Zimmer failed to state that he is affiliated with the NAAFA organization (The National Association To Advance Fat Acceptance). Mr. Zimmer seems to have a limited and biased view of TOPS.
    TOPS and NAAFA do share many of the same views concerning the treatment of obese people: We are both support groups and both groups want what is best for their members.
    Many people choose to remain obese and that certainly is their option. Others choose to lose weight.
    TOPS suppports all of its members by stressing "Take off Pounds Sensibly." We do have competition for those that wish to participate. It is not mandatory for our members to compete, or lose weight. We are here for them when they need our support.
    I personally have lost 100 pounds in TOPS and kept it off for over 15 years. I am not at my goal. TOPS has many success stories of people that have lost weight and kept it off for many years.
    Mr. Zimmer failed to recognize that many people lose weight for their own personal reasons, improved health and self-esteem being very high on the list. TOPS has donated over four and a half million dollars to obesity research and are now involved in a very large genes research program. TOPS information is backed by the medical profession.
    My objection is to Mr. Zimmer's and the NAAFA people's message that it is not unhealthy to be grossly overweight. I have never seen or heard this from anyone in the medical field. We read about these so called studies into yo-yo-dieting, etc., only to read in the paper the next day that they have been reversed.

LaNeida Herrick, Regional Director, TOPS