And you’d probably never guess that the cause can be boiled down to three words: location, location and location. You’d never guess because you’re a broadcaster used to having advertising fingered as the culprit. According to researchers at UC Berkeley and Columbia University, the location of just about any fast food restaurant within a tenth of a mile of a school campus – walking distance, in other words – results in a noticeable spike in teen obesity, according to an item in Bulldog Reporter. In fact, the obesity factor is 5.2% greater than it is for campuses with greater distance from ready sources of burgers, burritos, fries, milkshakes and other treats.
RBR/TVBR observation: We flagged this story to make a point. Most social phenomena have complex, multifaceted roots. Nonetheless, time and time again we read about academic studies linking almost anything imaginable to broadcasting and advertising. In this case, kicking fast food off the airwaves would be meaningless unless all the close in drive-ins are also shut down. Who knows how many other factors impact kids and fast food? Think parents have a role? We do. The point is, before taking drastic regulatory measures, please make sure all of the facts – all of them – have been properly weighted.