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California Studies in Food and Culture #33: Why Calories Count: From Science to Politicsby Marion Nestle
Synopses & Reviews
"If you want to understand what's wrong with our eating habits, you must understand the central role that calories play. Nestle and Nesheim are two of America's finest nutritionistsand#150;and this book explains, clearly and succinctly, why calories count. It is essential reading not only for people interested in food policy, but for everyone who wants to eat well and be well." and#150;Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
"This superbly well-researched and scientifically sound book makes it clear how todayand#8217;s food environment often overrides physiological regulatory controls of body weight. Why Calories Count is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand why so much about food choice lies in the hands of food marketers whose goal is to sell more products, not necessarily in the interests of public health." and#150;Dr. David Kessler, author of The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite
and#147;We need to understand what and#145;empty caloriesand#8217; are, so that we can feed our children food that is truly nourishing. On this topic, there is no better teacher than Marion Nestle, who writes with meticulousness, clarity and grace.and#8221; and#150;Alice Waters, author of The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution
"Thank god authorities like Nestle and Nesheim have teamed up to give us an epic view of a calorie: what it is, where it came from, what it means, how and why we count them. Thank god theyand#8217;ve managed to decode nutritional science into a commonsense language we can all understand. And thank god theyand#8217;ve put calories in their place in a wider cultural and political context to help us think meaningfully about the food our lives depend upon. Iand#8217;m grateful." and#150;Betty Fussell, author of Raising Steaks: The Life and Times of American Beef
and#147;Calories. We all talk about themand#151;many are even obsessed with themand#151;but what do we really know about them? Not much. Marion Nestle and Malden Nesheimand#8217;s latest book changes all that, pulling back the curtain on calories and helping us understand them in a whole new light. Youand#8217;ll never look at a 100-calorie pack of corporate cookies the same way again.and#8221; and#150;Anna Lappand#233;, author of Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It
Caloriesand#151;too few or too manyand#151;are the source of health problems affecting billions of people in todayand#8217;s globalized world. Although calories are essential to human health and survival, they cannot be seen, smelled, or tasted. They are also hard to understand. In Why Calories Count, Marion Nestle and Malden Nesheim explain in clear and accessible language what calories are and how they work, both biologically and politically. As they take readers through the issues that are fundamental to our understanding of diet and food, weight gain, loss, and obesity, Nestle and Nesheim sort through a great deal of the misinformation put forth by food manufacturers and diet program promoters. They elucidate the political stakes and show how federal and corporate policies have come together to create an and#147;eat moreand#8221; environment. Finally, having armed readers with the necessary information to interpret food labels, evaluate diet claims, and understand evidence as presented in popular media, the authors offer some candid advice: Get organized. Eat less. Eat better. Move more. Get political.
About the Author
Marion Nestle is Paulette Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health and Professor of Sociology at New York University. She is the author of What to Eat and, from UC Press, Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health; Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety; and Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine. Malden Nesheim is Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University. He is coauthor (with Marion Nestle) of Feed Your Pet Right: The Authoritative Guide to Feeding Your Dog and Cat and (with Ann L. Yaktine) of the Institute of Medicine report Seafood Choices: Balancing Benefits and Risks.
Table of Contents
Part One. Understanding Calories: It All Starts with the Science
1. What Is a Calorie?
2. The History: From Ancient Greece to Modern Calorie Science
3. Food: How Scientists Count the Calories
4. Bodies: How Scientists Measure the Use of Calories
Part Two. Why We Need Calories: Survival, Warmth, and Work
5. Metabolism: How the Body Turns Food into Energy
6. The First Use of Calories: Basic Life Functions
7. The Second Use: Heat Losses while Metabolizing Food
8. The Third Use: Physical Activity
Part Three. Calorie Intake and Its Regulation
9. How Many Calories Do You Need?
10. Calorie Confusion: The Struggle to Estimate Intake
11. Secret Calories: Alcohol
12. Calorie Regulation: The Bodyand#8217;s Complex Weight-Management System
Part Four. Too Few Calories
13. Starvation and Its Effects on the Body
14. Individuals, Communities, Nations: Calories and Global Hunger
15. Could Restricting Calories Prolong Human Life?
Part Five. Too Many Calories
16. An Introduction to Obesity
17. Calories and Weight Gain: Another Complex Relationship
18. Do Excess Calories Make Some People Gain Weight Faster than Others?
19. Are All Calories Created Equal?
20. Do Some Kinds of Diets Work Better than Others?
Part Six. The Politics of Calories: A Closer Look
21. Todayand#8217;s and#147;Eat-Moreand#8221; Environment: The Role of the Food Industry
22. More Calorie Confusion: Portion Distortion, Health Halos, and Wishful Thinking
23. Calorie Labeling: Science and Politics
24. Alcohol Labels: Industry vs. Consumers
25. Will Calorie Labels Help Fight Obesity?
Conclusion: How to Cope with the Calorie Environment
Appendix One. Selected Events in the History of Calories, 1614and#150;1919
Appendix Two. The Respiratory Quotient (RQ)
Appendix Three. Frequently Asked Questions
List of Tables
List of Figures
What Our Readers Are Saying
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