It’s refreshing to learn that a simple sign alerting shoppers that “taking the stairs protects your heart” more than doubled the number who chose stairs over the escalator at a suburban mall in Coventry, England (“Taking the steps to better health,” Nov. 15). The best thing is that this change took place with only a few interested researchers and a willing shopping mall.

That’s right: no government regulations or billion-dollar budgets.
In the battle of the bulge, health officials have proposed some radical interventions, including cupcake bans and Twinkie taxes, to no avail. But the most important changes in our lifestyle can start with a poster board and a few magic markers.

If every shopper climbed the stairs on the way to the food court, Americans could lose several extra pounds and a few unnecessary laws.