The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food

by Stan and Jan Berenstain, c1985.


I have read all of the Berenstain Bears books.  This is a fact.  When I saw this title standing atop the waist high (child’s eye level) book shelf I immediately ran through my Berenstain memories and could not locate it.  

I snatched the book off the shelf.  How could I not remember this one?  

I skimmed through the pages right there and nothing jumped out at me.  

Had I been walking around all this time thinking I read every Berenstain Bears book when really I had missed one?  

More importantly had I missed the Berenstain Bears book that would have saved me from the last several years of dieting??!!!


Sitting down to actually read about the Berenstain Bears vs. junk food I was happy to be back in Bear Country.  One of the best things about re-reading books from childhood is revisiting these familiar locales in my imagination.  

But my adult brain kicked in far too soon.  The Berenstain’s diet is listed as honey (obviously) plus “fruits, vegetables, milk, fish and fowl.”  

Oh really? These bears don’t eat red meat?  That seems far-fetched.

My inner child gently reminded me that these bears wear clothes and live in a tree house.  

Moving on.


The Berenstains (the authors not the bears) used some excellent semantics to differentiate between “sweets and goodies vs. healthy nourishing” foods.  Well done Jan and Stan!

I had to stare at the page of recommended healthy nourishing foods for a long time before I realized what was wrong with it.  

The foods were not arranged in a pyramid.

Mind blown.

Apparently the USDA did not adopt the food pyramid until 1992.  

This completely explains why I do not remember this book.  

It just took my adult brain several seconds to process that I was looking at recommended servings of healthy foods.  All because said foods were not arranged in a triangle! 

This is the best proof 90’s indoctrination I have witnessed in a while.  Or at least since the last time I heard this.  


This is going to seem a little lazy but hear me out.

Honey Boo Boo Child should read this book with her family.  The best take away from this chapter in the Berenstain Bears life is not about junk food or even food at all.  The real reason why the Berenstain Bears get healthy is because all four of them train for the community 3 mile run together.  They exercise as a family activity. 

Boom.  That’s the page I wish I remembered from this book, the four Berenstain Bears in jogging suits and sweat bands running together!!

(Instead the page I actually remembered was the slideshow of the digestive system that the doctor shows the Berenstains.  I guess they were trying not to include any of the “reproductive system” in their slides because it’s Brother Bear’s digestive system as shown from the back.  Yup.  Brother Bear’s colon you guys.  No wonder I blocked this book out!)




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