I understand what you are saying, but I think there is a danger the other way, too: people have the whole “exercise hardly burns off any calories” thing so often that they start to think it’s pointless to exercise at all–because all those other benefits seem sort of abstract.
I know for myself (and I am a pretty careful record keeper) that when I am active, maintenance is a thousand times more pleasant (and therefore doable) than when I am not. Sedentary maintenance means virtually no indulgences, no unplanned eating because you are burning so few calories in your day-to-day life. It is genuinely difficult to function in society under those kinds of restrictions. Not only can you not participate in social events, you can’t work late and pick something up on the way home, you can’t run out for something if you forget your lunch, you can’t put off the grocery shopping one extra day and throw something together out of your freezer. Living at that calorie range means you have to make every single calorie filling or else go from a normal state of mild hunger to real hunger. Even moderate exercise makes your life much better.