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Why Calories Count

From Science to Politics
Nestle, Marion (Book - 2012)
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
Why Calories Count
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"Calories--too few or too many--are the source of health problems affecting billions of people in today'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 "eat more" 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"--Provided by publisher.
Authors: Nestle, Marion
Statement of Responsibility: Marion Nestle and Malden Nesheim
Title: Why calories count
from science to politics
Publisher: Berkeley : University of California Press, c2012
Characteristics: 288 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 239-270) and index
Contents: Machine generated contents note:
Introduction 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 Body'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. Today's "Eat-More" 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, 1614-1919 Appendix Two. The Respiratory Quotient (RQ) Appendix Three. Frequently Asked Questions Notes List of Tables List of Figures Acknowledgments Index
Summary: "Calories--too few or too many--are the source of health problems affecting billions of people in today'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 "eat more" 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"--Provided by publisher.
Subject Headings: Food Caloric content Diet Obesity Prevention Energy Intake physiology Diet Food Industry Marketing Obesity prevention & control Politics
Topical Term: Food
Diet
Obesity
Energy Intake
Diet
Food Industry
Marketing
Obesity
Politics
Additional Contributors: Nesheim, Malden C.
LCCN: 2011044785
ISBN: 9780520262881
0520262883
Branch Call Number: 613.23 N
Research Call Number: JFE 14-4956
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Marion Nestle's illustrated lecture on February 12 explores everything the average person might want to know about calories and then some: from the unit of measure’s history and scientific definition, to its impact on the food industry and current topics in public health. The talk also covers iss... Read More »


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Sep 04, 2012
  • ksoles rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

In their fascinating tribute to the humble Calorie, Drs. Marion Nestle and Malden Nesheim explain why so many have misunderstood, dismissed and underestimated the unit over the years.

Drawing on exhaustive research, "Why Calories Count: From Science to Politics" unpacks the history, biochemistry, politics, law, policy, and sociology behind nutrition science. The book brings the Calorie out of the clinical setting and discusses it within the context of the present "eat more" food environment, an ever-growing food industry dependent on profit, and rival "diet tribes" that have more in common than they may think.

In addition to sharp analyses of several well-known large studies on calories, weight gain, and weight loss, Nestle and Nesheim encourage their readers to "get political" when it comes to food choices in order to build a healthier environment.

"Why Calories Count" clearly defines the various layers that encompass nutrition and serves as an authoritative resource on how to navigate the science and politics that affect it.

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