In this video interview, Dr. Marion Nestle talks about how to keep your weight down, stay healthy, and enjoy your food, sharing insights from her new book, Why Calories Count. I talked with her at the 2012 International Association of Culinary Professionals in New York City.
Why Calories Count: From Science to Politics
Dr. Nestle's new book is an encouraging and fascinating story about the mighty yet invisible calorie. Written with Dr. Malden Nesheim, this book helps you grasp why calories are confusing (for one, there are many definitions of a calorie), why you need them, and how you use them.
With that knowledge under your belt, you then learn what happens if you have too few or too many calories. Particularly helpful is the section on various fad dieting strategies. And particularly encouraging is the flexible, understanding tone throughout the book. Nestle and Nesheim love to eat, and want you to enjoy the pleasures of good food too.
My favorite section is the last, which looks at the politics of calories, the influence of the food industry, and changes that make food available nearly everywhere and all the time. Learn the marketing tricks of the alcohol and beef industries and get a glimpse of why food labels are so confusing.
Nestle knows what she's talking about. She's a professor in two departments at New York University: Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health (the department she chaired from 1988-2003) and Sociology. Her degrees include a Ph.D. in molecular biology and an MPH. in public health nutrition, both from the University of California, Berkeley. Nestle helps us care about complex and often contradictory information that affects our health in her books and on her blog, Food Politics.
Eat better, eat less, and move more
The conclusion of Why Calories Count offers refreshingly straightforward advice about how to stay healthy and trim in a society that promotes overeating: eat less, eat better, and move more. How? Pick from many practical tips, including getting organized and eating reasonable portions of real food washed down with a glass of water.
If you feel overwhelmed by conflicting diet claims or just want to be a better grocery shopper, Why Calories Count is for you.
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