How Big Is 10 Billion?

Childhood Obesity News has cited these figures before, and they are definitely worthy of repetition:

More than 80% of food advertising in the country promotes fast food, sugary drinks, and unhealthy snacks…

Does that signify that four out of five food ads are for junk? Or does it mean that out of every hour of advertising, 48 minutes are peddling junk? Or out of every 100 food images shown, 80 of them depict junk? Well, guess what? However that percentage was calibrated, it is disgusting.

It’s still brainwashing, and journalist Julia Olech mentions the creepy racist/classist angle that makes it even worse:

[R]esearch suggests marketers often target families from poor socioeconomic backgrounds as well as Hispanic and Black communities. In 2021, Black children viewed up to 21% more food and beverage ads than their White peers, while food companies increased their budgets allocated for Spanish-speaking advertisements.

The equally big news on this topic is that every year, the United States food industry spends $10 billion on marketing. Just for grins, let’s plug that figure into a search engine and see where else it applies.

In 2023, American adults lost $10 billion to malicious fraudsters who run investment scams; imposter scams; online shopping scams; prize, sweepstakes and lottery scams; and business and job opportunity scams. Ten billion is how much the federal government contemplates ponying up in subsidies to jump-start American semiconductor manufacturing.

$10 billion is the amount that…

  • Microsoft decided to invest in OpenAI (generative artificial intelligence).
  • In 2021, the administration declared it would devote itself to expanding confidence in and access to COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Facebook stated it would spend, in 2021 alone, “on Facebook Reality Labs, its metaverse division developing AR and VR hardware, software, and content.”
  • In 2022, California’s Governor Newsom vowed to spend on switching to zero-emission vehicles and other measures to attain clean energy and rescue the climate.
  • Last year, was offered to the Walt Disney Co. for a package to include the ABC television network, and the cable networks FX and National Geographic.

Part of the text that goes with the illustration on this page says:

Until now, the biggest supermassive black holes — those roughly 10 billion times the mass of our sun — have been found at the cores of very large galaxies in regions of the universe packed with other large galaxies.

In other words, $10 billion is a serious number, a big-league, no-fooling, we-mean-business kind of a sum — especially when it is mentioned on a per annum basis; when the expenditure is encompassed within a single year. Olech adds,

To put that into perspective, the US government allocates a budget of around $1 billion to promote healthy lifestyles and prevent chronic diseases.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “Junk Food Marketing Study: What Are Kids Being Fed?,”, 02/13/24
Source: “As Nationwide Fraud Losses Top $10 Billion in 2023, FTC Steps Up Efforts to Protect the Public,”, 02/09/24
Source: “Intel in talks for more than $10 billion in Chips Act incentives,”, 02/20/24
Source: “Fact Sheet,”, 03/25/21
Source: “Microsoft to Invest $10 Billion in OpenAI, the Creator of ChatGPT,”, 01/23/23
Source: “Facebook is spending at least $10 billion this year on its metaverse division,”, 10/25/21
Source: “Governor Newsom Outlines Historic $10 Billion Zero-Emission Vehicle Package to Lead the World’s Transition to Clean Energy, Combat Climate Change,”, 01/26/22
Source: “Media mogul Byron Allen offers Disney $10 billion for ABC, cable TV channels,”, 09/15/23
Image by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/CC BY 2.0 DEED

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About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:


Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

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