Pollution. Lack of sleep. A chemical in paint. Somewhere at this very moment, there’s an obesity researcher working diligently to explain weight gain with something other than a common sense reason (a lack of exercise and dietary moderation). Of course, evidence linking obesity to sedentary lifestyles far outweighs the unusual studies connecting it to pollution or paint chips. But to be fair, at least the latter researchers were able to find something to back up their hypotheses. Which is more than an Australian Senate committee was able to say this week about the Next Big Thing in the obesity guessing game: food advertising.
In typical nanny-state fashion, Green MPs in Australia proposed an all-out ban on “junk” food advertising aimed at children, in response to the rampant allegations that such ads are to blame for pint-sized pudginess. The predictable result is our Quote of the Week. Upon striking down the bill, the Senate committee noted:

"The (Communications and Media Authority) review of the Children’s Television Standards found no causal link between advertising of junk food and childhood obesity."

No causal link. No causal link. For those of you at the Center for Science in the Public Interest who meditate, there’s your new mantra.