The Cheese Roundup

eat block of cheese

When obesity is the topic, cheese is destined to be a star. In Dr. Pretlow’s very useful booklet, “Addiction Model Intervention for Obesity in Young People” it holds a prominent place on the list of problem foods (see page 33).

Since last discussing cheese, we have collected a few items of cheese trivia. According to Amy Terlisner, NMD, cheese contains the mycotoxin citrinin, a poisonous spore-based life form that may reduce testosterone production and contribute to kidney disease. In her book Life is Hard, Linda Spangle named cheese as one of the specific food types that appeal to a person who is trying to alleviate sadness, rather than some other kind of stress. Many nutrition professionals recommend niacin supplements to counteract cheese cravings.

By the way, depending on its type, cheese just might contain gluten. It is also purported to contain BCM7, which is suspected of affecting the human body like an opiate, is potentially addictive and definitely hinders weight loss.

Anti-cheese activists have a way of describing the stuff that can cause a listener to avoid it for days, if not weeks. The same illustration might look enticing or disgusting, either or both—like one titled “Close-up of Nathan’s Chili Cheese Fries.” The photo might also have been taken at the autopsy of a very obese person. The only indication that it was not is the section of decorated ceramic plate.

How do the corporations and the government conspire to (their words) “trigger the cheese craving?” Why does the U.S. Department of Agriculture maintain a huge agency (with a staff of 160 or so) whose one job is to help fast food companies cram the maximum amount of cheese down the throats of Americans? The Dairy Council named cheese the nation’s #1 snack food. Why is it the prevalent ingredient in almost every fast food genre?

Substance-Use Disorder in DSM-5” aims to help understand the categories and terminology of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. In this fanciful little drama, as the exemplar of an abused substance, cheese is the star. Another previous Childhood Obesity News post contains quotations from young visitors to Dr. Pretlow’s Weigh2Rock website, where many similar messages can be found. In his book, Overweight: What Kids Say, the most relevant and expressive messages have been curated, which provides a certain advantage.

The same post also recalls words from Jen Kirkman. Indeed, cheese seems to hold a special place in the hearts of comedians. “See what I did there?” as the cheesy ones are fond of saying. Here are two more quotations from contemporary stand-up comedy artists:

There’s almost no reason to ever eat cheese. It gives you nothing. It’s all only bad.
—Ari Shaffir

I think I’d give up sex before cheese.
—Candice Thompson

… which segues smoothly into the astonishing news that some people will quit chocolate sooner than renouncing cheese. That is a significant red flag, or ought to be.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “Against the Grain: Mycotoxins in Our Food,”, October 2012
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Profiles: Kids Struggling with Weight

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The Book

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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