"Would simply informing people that eating too much is the main cause of weight gain actually impede the obesity epidemic? Our work suggests it could."
This just confounds me. I suppose with all of illusions put forth by TV commercials and book peddlers about the "true" cause of one being overweight, it shouldn't. But there was never any doubt in my mind as to why I was fat. I ate too damn much, I knew it. Now what was truly an eye opening experience is where those calories came from. This was vision that only the nutrition tracker could provide. So many people resist calorie tracking because it's tedious or obsessive, but I attribute it to lack of motivation. It's no different than trying to manage finances and refusing to sit down and budget. Even if you don't change behavior, I think the mere act of tracking will give people little choice but to change. Or at the very least, understand how their current level of consumption is contributing to the problem.
So I guess my long winded point is, this *MIGHT* help, but I think those that ignore the basic calories in/out as the basic tenet of weight control will always be there and there will be an infomercial, supplement company or book author ready to sell them products.
I do completely agree with the author's point about exercise. Many people, especially "lay" folks either totally overestimate or are ignorant to the energy expenditure of exercise. Many that I've encountered think doing a bit of exercise gives them a free pass to eat whatever. Then the confusion sets in and the "exercise doesn't work" complaints start.
We have a long way to go.