From: Dr Myriam Wilks-Heeg, Liverpool

Andrew Lansley's plans to tackle the UK's obesity crisis without imposing legislation on the food industry (Lansley's new obesity pan branded 'worthless rubbish', 14 October) is hardly surprising given the government's links to industry, its cuts to initiatives such as Health4Life and its curtailing of the role of the Food Standards Agency. Indeed, it seems that every effort is being made to support the oligopolistic control of the UK food market by large multinational corporations,

From: Chris Record, Liver physician, Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Of course a minimum price per unit of alcohol will lead to a higher price of alcohol for all. However, the leaders of the alcohol trade associations (Letters, 14 October) carefully ignore the fact that 75% of alcohol is consumed by 25% of the population and it is this group who are drinking alcohol at unsafe levels. Thus the major effect of a minimum price policy is to target that section of our society who are harming themselves or those of us who are drinking at lower risk limits.

which has been allowed to develop in the UK since the end of the second world war. Swallowing all in their might, they created a processed food culture only surpassed by the US, which has left growing numbers of the UK population dangerously overweight and increasingly unable to prepare healthy food. In contrast, our European neighbours have fared much better as a result of tighter regulation of the food industry: not only do countries such as France and Italy have considerably lower obesity rates, they also benefit from a thriving national food culture with smaller-scale retail structures and artisan producers – something that UK consumers so often regard with envy. Another fact that they ignore is that 70% of alcohol is now sold in the off trade (eg supermarkets) and a minimum price of 50p per unit would not affect the price of alcohol sold in the on trade. At present supermarkets subsidise cheap alcohol prices by charging more for the non-alcohol products they sell – including essential foods. A minimum price per unit of alcohol would prevent this, and if the subsidies on alcohol were transferred to other essential items required by the public 70% of the population, including the low paid, would be better off.