The results are in, and they are conclusive: Sleep deprivation causes obesity. (NPR has a nice summary here.) Here's how: When you are sleep deprived, two things happen. First, your body's ability to dispose of carbohydrates decreases. Second, your body craves carbohydrates and fats, especially those found in fast foods. Thus, your body craves exactly what it doesn't need. Perverse, huh?
And why are so many people sleep deprived? It isn't because people are up late reading Shakespeare. Show me someone who is sleep deprived, and I'll show you a BigLaw lawyer (a fortunately small segment of society) or a person who watches a lot of television. Thus, television is causing sleep deprivation. (Incidentally, couples who cut back on watching television ar also more likely to burn a few nocturnal calories.)
And sleep deprivation is causing people to crave fast food. So the people suing the fast-food makers have the wrong defendants, don't they?
After all, if people slept more, they would crave less fast food. Fast food, you can now see, is way down the causal chain. So the people acting in the public interest needs to go after the real problem: television makers and studios.
Sue Zenith! We have nothing to lose but our waistlines!