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Consumer Confidential: free shipping, less TV

December 17, 2009 | 10:17 am

Here's your thirsty-Thursday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:

--This is Free Shipping Day, with about 740 retailers saying that if you buy something online today, you'll pay no shipping costs. That's pretty cool, of course. But this has been free shipping season, by and large, so it's not exactly a breakthrough that this particular perk is being offered to goose sales a little higher. Still, if you've been procrastinating, this is as good an opportunity as any to get in gear and do some cyber-shopping.

--Something else that's not exactly a news flash: Watching less TV will help you lose weight. That's the word from the Archives of Internal Medicine, which contains a study showing that adults who cut their TV viewing by half burn more calories over a three-week period. The reason, of course, is because they're off the sofa and moving around. I hear that researchers are also trying to determine whether there's a link between eating lots of junk food and getting fat.

-- David Lazarus