It is sad, but in this day and age, education on proper exercise is scarce. Well, it is starting to come out now, but for years it has not been helpful information. This is one of the reasons our society has weight issues. In terms of weight loss, especially, the "right" way to exercise is always changing or demands way too much time. But, that is another problem being fit should not take that much time, so again, false information has been shared.
This is not to say that you do not need to exercise to lose weight;30x30 Total Transformation in fact, losing weight is nearly impossible without exercise. You can eat right and lose some weight, but without the right exercise routine you will never lose every ounce of fat that you have hidden away in your body. Additionally, performing the wrong exercises will not give you the results you desire which leads you down a path of self-destruction (disappointment, depression, becoming lazy, etc).
There are numerous reasons why we - as a society - are overweight and even obese. One of the main reasons is our diet. Most individuals starve themselves of the proper nutrients that their body needs; whether from calorie-cutting diets or simply not eating the right foods. Look at all the processed foods that line supermarket shelves, for example. These foods are filled with unnatural sugars that poison your body and empty calories that hold no benefit for your what-so-ever. These things kill your metabolism; the one thing that processes your food for energy; without it you will gain weight.
Another big factor is how physically active you are and what type of physical activities you participate in. If you pay close attention to those who perform nothing but cardiovascular exercise for hours a day, you will notice that these individuals still have pockets of fat. This is not to criticize because these people are obviously dedicated. But, when fat is visible something is not right.