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Why Calories Count: From Science to Politics (California Studies in Food and Culture) Hardcover – April 18, 2012
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From the Inside Flap
"This superbly well-researched and scientifically sound book makes it clear how today’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." Dr. David Kessler, author of The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite
We need to understand what empty calories’ 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.” 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 they’ve managed to decode nutritional science into a commonsense language we can all understand. And thank god they’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. I’m grateful." Betty Fussell, author of Raising Steaks: The Life & Times of American Beef
Calories. We all talk about themmany are even obsessed with thembut what do we really know about them? Not much. Marion Nestle and Malden Nesheim’s latest book changes all that, pulling back the curtain on calories and helping us understand them in a whole new light. You’ll never look at a 100-calorie pack of corporate cookies the same way again.” Anna Lappé, author of Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It
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Low carb, Keto, Starch Solution, Low Fat... Any diet works if they reduce overall food intake and improves the quality of the food choices.
The book deals mainly with calories and why they are a meaningful marker, Nestle does favour a balanced diet over any extreme diet plan, but leaves it up to the reader to choose what may work best for them.
But then there are some more complicated, more technical discussions, e.g., about the difference between Atwater's available (or metabolizable) energy and Livesey's net metabolizable energy. Lay readers are not likely really to grasp the (conceptual) difference; and after several pages of trying to outline it, the authors admit that it really doesn't matter. What's the point of discussing it, then, and going on for several pages? Or for doing so in a venue that is, by and large, so untechnical?
I am a fan of much of Marion Nestle's work. FOOD POLITICS and FOOD SAFETY are terrific books. WHAT TO EAT is good. (The petfood book: not so much.) But I regret having bought this one, and will donate it to the local library or high school. There's just not much there there, at least for people who know much of anything about diet, nutrition, or the machinations of the food industry.