It is unfortunately widely accepted amongst the lay public and media that consuming more calories than we burn is the cause of the obesity epidemic, and thus the population-based solution is simply to do more exercise. This advice is misleading.
Obesity is due to eating too many calories, particularly food and soft drinks that give minimal feeling of satiety or fullness. Regular physical activity does have very beneficial effects but there has been little change if any in our levels of physical activity in the past three decades, whilst levels of obesity have escalated. In recent years many food and drink companies have deliberately and pervasively pushed the physical activity message via inappropriate associations. Companies that are responsible for the obesity epidemic sponsor major sporting events e.g. the Olympics.
Allowing the association of unhealthy food and soft drinks with sport and sport celebrity endorsement is wrong and gives the wrong message, particularly to children and adolescents under 16.