But I can also talk about the harm that it does. There is plenty.
The harm is possible in part because marketing succeeds by giving the public what it wants. Whether or not “what it wants” is good for it is often beside the point. That’s why movie channels run movies instead of putting up a screen that says, “Why not turn off the tube and exercise for a change?”
The downside can be larger than sitting versus exercising. To take just one example, chances are a well-credentialed hospital near you offers acupuncture treatments. The treatments are worthless, at times even dangerous. Why do hospitals offer this flimflam? Because the public demands it. Hospitals, like any business, compete. If your main consideration is the bottom line, and you know that people will abandon your hospital unless you offer acupuncture, you’ll offer it.
While there may be virtue in scolding your hospital, ultimately the way to get rid of flimflam is to reduce demand by educating the public.
Which, of course, begins with educating ourselves. For instance, if you take umbrage at my referring to acupuncture as flimflam, I suggest investigating the claim instead of raging at me.