The Bod Squad

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The Bod Squad was the collective title for a series of short public service announcements broadcast on Saturday mornings on the ABC television network, from the 1974 through the first half of the 1990s. These thirty-second and one-minute segments promoted healthy nutrition and personal hygiene through humorous animation and catchy music with clever lyrics.

The segments generally appeared at half-hour intervals, interspersed with regular commercials, between Saturday morning cartoon programs. While many were not labeled as such, at least four or five segments ended with an announcement, "Another nutritional message from the ABC Television Network," and accompanying stock animation identifying the series as The ABC Bod Squad. The same original segments produced in the 1970s repeated every Saturday morning for nearly 20 years, so that many if not most Americans who were TV-watching children during that period are familiar with them.

The Bod Squad segments never carried official titles but are informally known by the catch phrases from their lyrics. Some of the memorable Bod Squad segments included

  • Yuck Mouth and Nutty Gritty (both sung by actor/singer Scatman Crothers),
  • (Watch Out For) The Munchies, about craving food when a person is not hungry, and
  • Quickfast, suggesting pre-made or leftover foods for breakfast, or easily prepared foods such as toast, for children who are too young to fix meals themselves.

Some others not explicitly identified as Bod Squad segments but in the same vein were

  • Don't Drown Your Food (voiced by actor/comedian Arnold Stang), encouraging children not to overuse condiments, such as gravy, ketchup and salad dressing, and learn to enjoy the natural flavors of vegetables, eggs, etc.
  • Make A Saturdae, about using healthy foods — such as bananas and yogurt — to create "fun" snacks.
  • Zack Of All Trades (sung by Luther Vandross), a hip R&B singer teaches teenagers a valuable lesson about different types of careers.
  • Beans and Rice, about complementary proteins, and combining basic foods to create new dishes. (Curiously, this short was performed by Jack Sheldon and Bob Dorough, two of the major names behind Schoolhouse Rock!, but was credited neither as a Schoolhouse Rock! short nor as a Bod Squad segment.)

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s ABC broadcast several other series of educational public service cartoon spots as well, including Time for Timer and, perhaps the most famous of all, Schoolhouse Rock.