SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Nutritionists Marion Nestle and Malden Nesheim cover a lot of ground very accessibly in Why Calories Count: From Science To Politics. They begin with a basic scientific definition of what a calorie really is before exploring the food industry’s influence on nutrition and how politics plays into food safety, including pet food.

Nestle and Nesheim lay out very serious research without getting bogged down in an overly serious scientific tone. Take the title of the chapter on pet food, “Chihuahua in the coal mine.” This is as good an example as any of their ability to tackle some tough political realities with just a little irreverence.

KCBS Food And Wine Editor Narsai David:

Nestle is a professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health at New York University, where she is also a professor of sociology.

Malden Nesheim is a professor emeritus of nutritional science at Cornell University.

They develop a thesis that calories, whether too few or too many, are behind a host of health problems that affect billions of people worldwide, dispelling myths propagated by diet hawkers and the food industry and exploring the relationship between large corporations and government regulators.

And in the process, readers get a better idea of what food labels really mean and how to make sense of the bombardment of nutrition claims and health claims in advertising and the media.

Why Calories Count: From Science To Politics


Narsai David is the KCBS Food and Wine Editor. He has been a successful restaurateur, chef, TV host, and columnist in the Bay Area spanning four decades. You can hear him Saturdays at 10:53am, 12:53pm and 4:53pm, and at 2:53am Sunday on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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