TV makes kids fat, but not the way you think.

I think it will come as no surprise that young couch potatoes tend to be overweight. What I think might come as a surprise is that a few hours per day of sedentary vegetation is not the problem. According to the National Academies, it may well be the advertisements that the kids are watching that’s causing it rather than the actual time of inactivity.

And I get it. If you want to make lots of money, you need to buy low and sell high. That means buying corn syrup (cheap) and effective advertising (kids are the easiest) and selling it for ten times the market price. Now maybe advertising  could convince kids that orange juice was awesome. The problem is that the value added is not all that high. Special name brand orange juice probably can’t be driven up in price by a factor of 10 because nobody will bay $20 for a bottle of OJ (Or so I once thought…). Name brand sugar water, on the other hand, certainly can because the price was so low to start.

Where does that laeve us? Kids want crap because they see crap on TV. Value added foods like cola and flavored tortilla chips (both derived from corn, interestingly) make money.  Kids get fat, somebody gets rich. And who are to say that’s not just fine and dandy?