Never done it myself as would bore me to tears. However I think it would be a more efficient way to do it. Finding a local hill that fits is not always easy. Most hills near me are either not steep enough or not long enough.
I looked at "luxury" calories and managed them closely. I would often ask myself is the biscuit / cake / fizzy drink / whatever worth 2km running? Converting the calories to discance soon stopped me marching through several biscuits.
For everything else I did not worry to much. My 3 meals per day although were not super healthy were balanced and reasonable. By managing the treats and snacks and then exercising tends to keep things under control.
I kinda agree with what you say but there are a lot of mean, busy, selfish, unaware people out there that will happily keep their head in the sand unless you smack in the head with an issue.
How do you propose to educate people? 11m people watched children in need, it would take one helluva documentary / article / news item to hit that kind of audience.
The amount raised by these types of charities may be a drop in the ocean. However mainstream charities raise a lot but spend a lot doing it. Adverts, agents/chuggers, race bond places are all expensive. In terms or "profit" I would guess / hope that CIN or band aid is pretty effective.
In my opinion its better to let some ageing pop star give their time for nowt and let them get self promotion instead of paying a marketing company or chug loads of cash to VLM buying bond places.
I agree it is a shame that genuine charity workers get no credit. The problem is without celebs or big names nobody will tune in and if nobody watches then the donations will be dramatically reduced. IF you believe in charity (which it is pretty sad if you don't) what options do they have to raise money?
If you say they can only employ adverts and raise awareness on the streets it takes a huge amount of effort to raise money.
Big scale evenings like Children in Need, sport relief or charity singles raise huge amounts of cash. Yes there is some self promotion going on but if nobody turned up they would be called pampered selfish stars.