Diverse viewpoints key to value of Health & Fitness

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Health and fitness covers a lot of ground. Some of that ground — eat your greens, get some exercise — we should all be able to agree on.

But some of the territory is a minefield. As sure as eggs will be declared healthy, unhealthy and once again healthy, topics you’ll find addressed in these pages are likely to rile you now and then.

As the editor who plans and lays out these pages, and the guy who solicits contributions from local columnists, I’d like to shed some light on how choices are made and how to easily figure out whether you’re looking at a column as opposed to a news story.

I look for a diversity of subject matter and angles in the local and wire-service stories we publish, and my primary focus is on connecting you, the readers, with information you can use to make decisions that affect your health (and fitness).

Sometimes this means publishing columns written from a particular and potentially controversial viewpoint.

Does this mean the U-B endorses every idea presented? No. But we believe presenting a diversity of views is crucial to helping people make informed decisions.

Ideally, balance in those viewpoints will be achieved when you look at the totality of stories published throughout the months and years.

We welcome submissions from professionals and the general public on many subjects, including health and fitness, so if you’re interested in writing a column, or several columns, drop me a line or give me a call. My contact information is at the end of this column.

So how can you tell which pieces are columns? Our general practices here rely on the use of visual cues.

In this section and everywhere else in the newspaper from page one on Monday to the back of Sunday’s D section, columns are presented with an italicized headline, a byline (and sometimes photo) that looks like the one at the beginning of this column.

After reflecting on a conversation I had this week with a reader of this section, I suspect these differences, while screaming loudly in all capital letters to newspaper insiders, might be a bit esoteric to the rest of the world and thus worth pointing out.

Questions? Comments? Always feel free to get in touch — I look forward to hearing from you.

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