Does the consumption of soda promote obesity as an addictive stimulant? Would a national identification card enhance national security? These two questions, posed by Steve Milloy's "Junk Science" column and Glenn Harlan Reynold's "Straight Talk" article led to a wide array of responses for foxnews.com readers this week.

Some readers responded with their personal stories of how soda may have contributed to their size as a teenager, while others believe that the Center for Science in the Public Interest's efforts to protest against Coca-Cola are completely uneccessary.

On the topic of the government enforcing a national identification card system, the majority of readers say they will refuse to comply with any such requirement and some even said that the idea resembles the demands of a communist government.

Here's a sample of this week's mail:

— CSPI efforts, as you can see, are feeble at best. Ten people showing up to protest (the Harry Potter) movie that made $90 million in it first weekend is like trying to beat an elephant with a wet noodle.      Although I don't believe a diet of soda and chips is healthily, I do feel two or three sodas a day is not harmful unless you don't brush your teeth. And for CSPI to blame carbonated drinks for the reason we have so many overweight children is to cover their eyes to the true problem--over-eating.  I don't need the CSPI to tell me that.

— The idea of a national ID card is so incredibly ridiculous that I can not believe that someone is actually considering it. The last time I checked this was America,  Land of the Free. This is not communist Russia or China.  I would never ever consider getting one of these cards and would do everything in my power to stop it INCLUDING GOING TO JAIL. I would just as soon leave this country as to be required to have "papers." This is just another way for the politicians in Washington to chip away at the Constitution. I feel that this card would in fact throw the Constitution right out the window. Freedom is what Americans have died for and it is what people from other countries are dying to attain. These ID cards would change the United States even more than the Sept. 11 disaster. I frankly can't believe that people in this country would so easily give up their freedom. This is a lie perpetrated by Washington to assure citizens safety. There is no way that Washington can insure our safety without taking away our rights and the Constitution.

— Why not just go ahead and burn "666" in our foreheads and hands?  The national ID card just takes us one step closer to that day.

— Mr. Reynold's... initial assumption that a national ID card would necessarily rely on existing forms of identification, which have already been compromised, is not correct.  The key to a workable national ID card is to issue it without any proof of identification other than a thumb print, retinal scan or some other form of unique...physical unchangeable ID.  The national data bases can be used to insure that there is one and only one ID card issued for each individual.  Whatever thumb print  is on that ID is by definition the identification of that person.  The next step is to require that the national ID be checked when other forms of ID are used.  In other words the National ID becomes the only verifiable ID... You can't get multiple National IDs because the thumb print is checked to see that a card has not already been issued.  As you pass through life your thumb print is attached to all sorts of transactions that require identification. 

— The ONLY bit of harmful results from consumption of soft drinks can be found from excessive intake of the phosphoric acid found in most colas. Phosphoric acid is known to act as a kind of calcium channel blocker...however...it would require a child to drink ridiculous amounts of  soft drinks for this to actually happen. Thank you for this enlightening article.  FINALLY, there is someone in the media quick to rebuke these "nuts" out there who call themselves scientists, when in reality, all they have is some whacked out political agenda. 

— I have to agree with you about CSPI’s attacks on Coke are not substantiated.  This past February, I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes, so my awareness of sugar content (along with other carbs) is dramatically heightened.  I can tell you honestly, the amount of sugar in a Coke does not hold a candle to purported “healthy” drinks such as Sunny Delight, which has somewhere along the lines of 40-50 grams of sugar per serving.  Although I don’t have a can of soda in front of me at this moment, I can safely say that most soft drinks contain about 20-35 grams of sugar per serving.  Orange juice, apple juice, and cranberry juice cocktail have the same or higher amounts of sugar.  Although some pundits may argue this is “naturally occurring” sugar, and dismiss what I have to say, believe me when I tell you that naturally occurring or not, it will affect my blood glucose levels the same.  I believe that everything in life must be consumed in moderation.

— I do not feel like Coke is going to single-handedly destroy our kids. However, I am a dentist, and I see the effects of over-consumption of beverages like Coke, Pepsi, etc. that contain a lot of sugar. In many mouths that I treat for extensive decay, the source of the decay can be traced back to consumption of Cokes, candy, and other various sugar-laden items. I guess it keeps me in business, but at the same time, I wish that kids would drink less soft-drinks and consume more healthier snacks. I work on one patient at a time to promote awareness of decay and it's causes, and I feel that promoting Coke along with Harry Potter as wholesome is sending the wrong message.

— As a former addict of soft drinks, I can tell you that I started drinking soft drinks in middle school.  Yes one or two a day, then 3-4 in high school, then in college, my day did not get started until I had at least two Super Big Gulps and several more throughout the day.  My weight did not go up during my school years, but once out of school, I packed it on.  I tried quitting, but the withdrawal  was extremely painful.  In fact, John Hopkins has issued a study that showed that soft drinks are addicting... So,  Mr. Milloy, we as parents do our children an injustice by giving children soft drinks as "treats."  It is sad to see a two year old scream because he/she did not get their treat! Have you ever put a penny into a can of Coke and see how clean it gets? That kind of cleaning agent cannot be good. 

— Like many teenagers and college students I drank a lot of sodas, specifically Dr. Pepper.  But, while a teenager and into college, I was very thin... even though I was drinking 5-6 cans of Dr. Pepper a day.  Because of this I maintained my own self denial about the ill effects of my soda consumption, although it did bother me that when I tried to cut back or quit for a while I found myself craving sodas, quite literally
having withdrawals. 

At the end of my undergraduate years of college I had grown to 180 lbs. and an unsightly potbelly had arrived.  I had also started to develop cavities at an alarming rate. I decided to go on a diet, so I quit eating cookies, crackers, and chips.  Over two months I only lost 5 lbs.  I knew that my soda consumption was my problem.  So, I decided to quit drinking them altogether.  Over the next 3 or 4 days I suffered from horrible headaches and popped about four advil a day.  Then as the weeks passed a few remarkable things happened.  Over three weeks I lost 15 lbs. with no exercise.  My body fat melted away as my abs reappeared (with no exercise).  I also noticed a change in my sleeping  patterns.  I had always slept for nine or more hours when I could; now I would wake up before my alarm... I was never tired during the  day like I had been before... 

 I don't think that drinking Cokes is tantamount to smoking or drinking alcohol, but it's a bad habit for your kids to get into.