So, the new cover story in The Nation is a cui bono piece that notes that food producers give money to politicians, then observes that in discussions of the obesity "epidemic"—and whether it demands new restirctions on advertising PopTarts to kids—politicians like Sen. Zell Miller (D-Ga.) have:
parroted industry talking points when he claimed that children are "obese not because of what they eat at lunchrooms in schools but because, frankly, they sit around on their duffs watching Eminem on MTV and playing video games." And that, of course, is the fault not of food marketers but of parents.
Just one more nefarious industry "ploy," as such claims are later described. But golly if they didn't forget to link to the sidebar to the article where they, you know, get around to showing that this is actually wrong. Because, funnily enough, the empirical evidence the folks I know who study this stuff have looked at seems to suggest, first, that kids have been getting plumper over a period when they've been less exposed to food advertising, and that during this era of plumpification, kids have become more sedentary without increasing caloric intake much.
In other words, at least a first pass at the evidence suggests that maybe, in fact, kids really are getting fatter because they're exercising less, not because they're eating more junk food—never mind watching more ads for the stuff. Maybe that's why the authors have to resort to quoting opinion polls indicating people are favorably disposed to ad restrictions instead of, like, actual evidence.