Thought for Food Is Food for Thought


Childhood Obesity News has been looking at some of the unintentional humor caused by the beverage industry‘s empty promises. The comedy continues, with the ridiculous spectacle of a world where millions of kids are both fat and insufficiently fed at the same time, while millions more are just plain starving. It’s all just too absurd.

America is the Obese-But-Undernourished capitol of the world, and from it spring the satirical outpourings of a mock-TV show called “Thought for Food.” Steven Colbert portrays some kind of ultra-conservative demagogue/newscaster who is so indignant over the government’s attempts to regulate the food industry, he might even show up wearing a suit made from snack bags. In character, he goes after such icons as reformist chef Jamie Oliver, and even the First Lady and the “Let’s Move” program, making his real points by indirection and with maximum humor.

Colbert talks about the lab rats who would not give up junk food even when they had to endure pain to get to it. In other words, they were addicted. Playing on the well-known connections between junk food and obesity, and between obesity and cardiopathology, he says:

In fact, many of the obese rats were grateful for the shocks, because they restarted their hearts.

In “School Potato Guidelines & Fast Food Stamps,” the comedian defends processed potato nuggets as excellent and necessary school lunch fare. Also, he experiences a meltdown that proves beyond doubt the emotional roots of comfort eating.

In another episode he again refers to emotional eating with the tip:

It’s hard to swallow my pride. That’s why I slather mine in mayonnaise.

Noting that some “energy” drinks contain, along with their sweeteners, not only caffeine but alcohol, Colbert introduces a new product of his own devising, that takes the concept to the next level and kicks it up a notch. And, like Childhood Obesity News, he has plenty to say about cheese. And bacon? Don’t get him started!

We learn which snack food package now contains the reassuring motto, “natural flavor with other natural flavor.” Colbert discusses the foot-long cheeseburger and his innovative idea for improving it. He creates GulpZilla and lives to regret it. After listing the disadvantages of fruit mush in a non-recyclable plastic pouch, his entrepreneurial side really gets fired up as he suggests:

… [A]n apple snack encased in some sort of edible skin. That would be a real breakthrough.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source:  “Thought for Food – Corn Diapers, Fatty Foods & Jamie Oliver,”, 03/30/10
Source:  “School Potato Guidelines & Fast Food Stamps,”, 10/18/11
Source:  “Thought for Food – C-Zurrrre, Medal of Hunger Winner & Cheesercize,”, 11/16/10
Screen capture of “Colbert Nation” used under Fair Use: Reporting.

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OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say explores the obesity problem from the often-overlooked perspective of children struggling with being overweight.

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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