It’s not surprising that Amy Lanou, a representative of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, is using the national debate about obesity to drive Americans toward strict vegetarianism (“In the battle of the bulge, this is no time to surrender,” July 24). Lanou’s “physicians committee” is an animal-rights group, not a mainstream medical charity. More than 95 percent of its members never went to medical school.

Lanou’s organization has received more than $1.3 million from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals — the same outrageous activist group that believes livestock animals should have the same rights as human beings (chief among them, of course, the right to not be eaten). The Physicians Committee’s president is also president of the Foundation to Support Animal Protection, which is closely affiliated with PETA.

There’s nothing wrong with being a vegetarian. It’s a free country, and we should all eat what we think is best. But meatless eating shouldn’t be promoted by adding scare tactics to our national obsession with body weight. In this case, it amounts to a deceptive animal-rights ploy, not a public health service.