by Marion Nestle

Search results: public health strategies

Jun 27 2013

World Health Organization takes on the food industry

I’ve just been sent a copy of  the opening address given by the Director-General of the World Health Organization, Dr Margaret Chan, to a Global Conference on Health Promotion in Helsinki on June 10.

Here is an excerpt from her extraordinary remarks:

Today, getting people to lead healthy lifestyles and adopt healthy behaviours faces opposition from forces that are not so friendly.  Not at all.

Efforts to prevent noncommunicable [chronic] diseases go against the business interests of powerful economic operators.

In my view, this is one of the biggest challenges facing health promotion…it is not just Big Tobacco anymore.  Public health must also contend with Big Food, Big Soda,and Big Alcohol.

All of these industries fear regulation, and protect themselves by using the same tactics.

Research has documented these tactics well. They include front groups, lobbies, promises of self-regulation, lawsuits, and industry-funded research that confuses the evidence and keeps the public in doubt.

Tactics also include gifts, grants, and contributions to worthy causes that cast these industries as respectable corporate citizens in the eyes of politicians and the public.

They include arguments that place the responsibility for harm to health on individuals, and portray government actions as interference in personal liberties and free choice.

This is formidable opposition. Market power readily translates into political power…

Not one single country has managed to turn around its obesity epidemic in all age groups.  This is not a failure of individual will-power. This is a failure of political will to take on big business…

I am deeply concerned by two recent trends.

The first relates to trade agreements. Governments introducing measures to protect the health of their citizens are being taken to court, and challenged in litigation. This is dangerous.

The second is efforts by industry to shape the public health policies and strategies that affect their products. When industry is involved in policy-making, rest assured that the most effective control measures will be downplayed or left out entirely. This, too, is well documented, and dangerous.

In the view of WHO, the formulation of health policies must be protected from distortion by commercial or vested interests.

Dr. Chan was courageous to say this so clearly.  Would that our health officials would be as brave.

Dec 6 2012

New books take a fresh look at public health

If I were teaching public health nutrition right now, here’s what I’d want students to read:

Geof Rayner and Tim Lang, Ecological Public Health: Reshaping the Conditions for Good Health, Routledge Earthscan, 2012.

Our case is that public health is an interdisciplinary project, and not merely the preserve of particular professionals or titles.  Indeed, one of the themes of the book is that public health is often improved by movements and by people prepared to challenge conventional assumptions and the status quo…In these cynical academic times, when thinking is too often set within narrow economistic terms—What can we afford? What is the cost-benefit of health action?—and when the notion of the ‘public’ is often replaced by the ‘individual’ or the ‘private,’ this book offers an analysis of public health which is unashamedly pro bono publico, for the public good.

David Stuckler and Karen Siegel, eds.  Sick Societies: Responding to the Global Challenge of Chronic Disease, Oxford University Press, 2011.

Sick Societies argues that we are building environments that are poorly designed for our boides: we create societies where tobacco, alcohol, and foods containing high levels of salt, sugar, and fats are the easiest, cheapest, and most desirable choices, while fruits, vegetables, and exercise are the most expensive, inaccessible, and inconvenient options.  The rise in chronic diseases is the result of a model of societal development that is out of control: a model that puts wealth before health.

Wilma Waterlander, Put the Money Where the Mouth Is: The Feasibility and Effectiveness of Food Pricing Strategies to Stimulate Healthy Eating, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, 2012.

This one is for policy wonks and change agents.  This is Waterlander’s doctoral dissertation done as a published book but it is written clearly and forcefully.  Her conclusions:

The studies presented in this thesis show that the healthy choice is the relatively expensive choice; that price fundamentally affects food choice and may even form a barrier for low SES consumers in selecting healthier foods.  These findings make pricing strategies a justifiable tool to stimulate healthier choices…making healthier foods cheaper was found to be the most feasible pricing strategy to implement.

Mar 7 2012

U.N. Special Rapporteur: Five Ways to Fix Unhealthy Diets

Olivier de Schutter, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, has issued five recommendations for fixing diets and food systems:

  • Tax unhealthy products.
  • Regulate foods high in saturated fats, salt and sugar.
  • Crack down on junk food advertising.
  • Overhaul misguided agricultural subsidies that make certain ingredients cheaper than others.
  • Support local food production so that consumers have access to healthy, fresh and nutritious foods.

De Schutter explains:

One in seven people globally are undernourished, and many more suffer from the ‘hidden hunger’ of micronutrient deficiency, while 1.3 billion are overweight or obese.

Faced with this public health crisis, we continue to prescribe medical remedies: nutrition pills and early-life nutrition strategies for those lacking in calories; slimming pills, lifestyle advice and calorie counting for the overweight.

But we must tackle the systemic problems that generate poor nutrition in all its forms.

Governments, he said:

have often been indifferent to what kind of calories are on offer, at what price, to whom they are accessible, and how they are marketed…We have deferred to food companies the responsibility for ensuring that a good nutritional balance emerges.

…Heavy processing thrives in our global food system, and is a win-win for multinational agri-food companies…But for the people, it is a lose-lose…In better-off countries, the poorest population groups are most affected because foods high in fats, sugar and salt are often cheaper than healthy diets as a result of misguided subsidies whose health impacts have been wholly ignored.

Much to ponder here.  Let’s hope government health agencies listen hard and get to work.

For further information, the press release adds these links:

Feb 1 2012

Survey result: low-income families want to eat healthfully too

I was invited yesterday to a press event to announce the results of a survey conducted by Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters program.  The program and the survey, It’s Dinnertime: A Report on Low-Income Families’ Efforts to Plan, Shop for and Cook Healthy Meals, are sponsored by the ConAgra Foods Foundation.

I went because I was interested in the survey and also because I admire the work of chef Sara Moulton who, among many other things, works with Share Our Strength on this program.

Cooking Matters is part of Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign.  Its goal is to help low-income families increase access to public food resources (food assistance benefits, farmers’ market coupons) and produce healthy meals at low cost.  It does this through a 6-week course that teaches shopping strategies, meal planning, and cooking.

The research produced some important findings, perhaps obvious:

  • 8 out of 10 low-income families cook at home at least 5 times per week, more if they are poorer.
  • 85% of low-income families consider eating healthy meals to be important and realistic.
  • Low-income families struggle to put healthy meals on the table: food costs and preparation time are big barriers.
  • Low-income families are eager for cooking and budgeting tips and tools.

Where does ConAgra fit in?

ConAgra owns countless food product brands that pack the center aisles of supermarkets.

Working under the premise that it takes more than food to fight hunger, the ConAgra Foods Foundation, a national sponsor of Cooking Matters, funded It’s Dinnertime as part of its ongoing strategy to find sustainable solutions to help surround kids with the nourishment they need to flourish.

The ConAgra Foods Foundation is funded solely by ConAgra Foods.  One of the study’s conclusions is very much in ConAgra’s interest.

A better understanding of the health benefits of frozen and canned fruits and vegetables could also put more healthy options in reach for low-income families: While 81 percent of low-income parents rated fresh produce as extremely healthy, that rating drops down to 32 percent when it comes to frozen fruits and vegetables and 12 percent with canned fruits and vegetables.

The program works to improve the image of frozen and canned fruits and vegetables among low-income families.

Ordinarily, food industry-sponsored programs make me squirm.  This one makes me squirm less than most even though Sara Moulton was cooking with at least one ConAgra product: Wesson Oil.

But the program worked with 18,000 families last year and its goals make sense.

Canned and frozen fruits and vegetables really do retain much of the nutritional value of fresh produce unless they are loaded with salt and sugars.  Sara was cooking with low-salt products and the dishes she made were easy, inexpensive, nutritious, and quite delicious.

I’m impressed with how this program teaches families to fend for themselves in today’s tough environment.

Now, if ConAgra would just get busy promoting policies to improve access to healthy foods for everyone….


Jul 13 2011

Google’s impressive healthy food program

I’m just back from judging Google’s first Science Fair for kids 13 to 18 at its corporate headquarters in California (yes, those are tomatoes growing in the foreground).

Google’s famous food program: Why famous?  It is:

  • Available 24/7
  • Totally free
  • Varied and delicious
  • Designed to promote health as well as environmental values (local, organic, sustainable)

On this last point, the recycling program is comprehensive and the campus is planted with organic vegetables, free for the picking:

But what about the “freshman 15”?

If free food is available 24/7, isn’t Google creating a classic “obesogenic” environment?  Do new Google employees gain weight?

Indeed, they do, and this creates a dilemma for the food team.  I met with Joe Marcus, Google’s food program manager, and executive chef Scott Giambastiani.  Free and very good food, they explain, is an important recruiting perk for Google.   Employees learn to manage it.  And those who are eating healthy food for the first time in their lives find that they actually lose weight.

Google’s food labeling program

Google labels its snacks, drinks, and the foods prepared in its 25 or so cafeterias with traffic lights: green (eat anytime), yellow (once in a while), or red (not often, please).  It bases the decisions about which food goes where on the Harvard School of Public Health’s healthy eating pyramid.   It labels foods at the top of the Harvard pyramid red, the ones in the middle yellow, and those at the bottom green.

In theory this makes sense as a starting point.  In practice, it tends to seem a bit like nutritionism—reducing the value of the foods to a few key nutrients.

The difficulties are most evident in the snack foods, freely available from kiosks all over the campus.   Products are displayed on shelves labeled red, yellow, or green.  For example:

GREEN: Sun chips, 1.5 oz, 210 kcal, 10 g fat, 180 mg sodium, 3 g sugar, 4 g fiber

YELLOW: Lentil chips, 1 oz, 110 kcal, 3 g fat, 170 mg sodium, 1 g sugar, 3 g fiber

YELLOW: Walnuts, 0.8 oz, 150 kcal, 15 g fat, 0 g sodium, 1 g sugar, 2 g fiber

RED:  Luau BBQ chips, 1.5 oz, 210 kcal,  14 g fat, 158 mg sodium, 2 g sugar, 1 g fiber

Note: the weights of the packages are not the same, so the amounts are not really comparable, but the ranking scheme seems to give most credit for fiber.

As for these and the foods cooked in cafeterias, Google uses other strategies to promote healthier choices.  It:

  • Puts the healthiest products at eye level
  • Uses small plates
  • Tries to include vegetables in everything
  • Makes healthier options available at all times
  • Uses the smallest sizes of snack foods (packages of 2 Oreos, rather than 6)
  • Makes it easy to be physically active (Google bicycles!)

The only place on the campus where employees pay for food is from a vending machine.  The pricing strategy is based on nutrient content, again according to the Harvard pyramid plan.  For the vended products, you pay:

  • one cent per gram of sugar
  • two cents per gram of fat
  • four cents per gram of saturated fat
  • one dollar per gram of trans fat

On this basis, Quaker Chewy Bars are 15 cents each, Famous Amos cookies re 55 cents, and an enormous Ghirardelli chocolate bar is $4.25.  Weights don’t count and neither do calories.  The machine is not run by Google.  Whoever does it has a sense of humor.

Impressive, all this.  Not every company can feed its nearly 30,000 employees like this but every company can adopt some of these strategies.  It might save them some health care costs, if nothing else.

Nov 25 2008


This page lists books and articles. Books start under the first photo, and articles under the second.

Witt Program on Activism, DeWitt Clinton High School, Bronx NY, 12-8-09

BOOKS: For more information on books, click here

  • 2015: Nestle M.  SODA POLITICS: TAKING ON BIG SODA (AND WINNING), Oxford University Press..
  • 2013: Nestle M. FOOD POLITICS: HOW THE FOOD INDUSTRY INFLUENCES NUTRITION AND HEALTH, 10th Anniversary Edition with a Foreword by Michael Pollan, University of California Press (see below for previous editions).
  • 2012: Nestle M, Nesheim M. WHY CALORIES COUNT: FROM SCIENCE TO POLITICS, University of California Press.  Paperback, 2013.
  • 2010: Nestle M. SAFE FOOD: THE POLITICS OF FOOD SAFETY, revised and expanded from the 2003 edition (see below for previous edition), University of California Press.
  • 2010: Nestle M, Nesheim MC. FEED YOUR PET RIGHT, Free Press/Simon & Schuster.
  • 2008: Nestle M. PET FOOD POLITICS: THE CHIHUAHUA IN THE COAL MINE, University of California Press. Paperback, 2010.
  • 2007: Nestle M. FOOD POLITICS: HOW THE FOOD INDUSTRY INFLUENCES NUTRITION AND HEALTH, revised and expanded edition, University of California Press (see below for previous edition).
  • 2006: Nestle M. WHAT TO EAT, North Point Press/Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Paperback, 2007. Hebrew edition, 2007.
  • 2003: Nestle M. SAFE FOOD: BACTERIA, BIOTECHNOLOGY, AND BIOTERRORISM. University of California Press. Paperback, 2004. Chinese edition, 2004. Japanese edition, 2009. Revised edition, 2010 (see above).
  • 2002: Nestle M. FOOD POLITICS: HOW THE FOOD INDUSTRY INFLUENCES NUTRITION AND HEALTH, University of California Press. Paperback, 2003. Chinese edition, 2004. Japanese edition, 2005. Revised and expanded edition, 2007 and 10th Anniversary Edition with a Foreword by Michael Pollan (see above).
  • 1985: Nestle M. NUTRITION IN CLINICAL PRACTICE. Greenbrae CA: Jones Medical Publications. Asian edition, 1986. Greek edition, 1987.Dr. Nestle at FAO 082

ARTICLES (SELECTED): For the most part, these are columns, professional articles, book chapters, letters, and book reviews for which links or pdf’s are available (or will be when I get time to find or create them). Additional publications are listed in the c.v. link in the About page.


Nestle M. Corporate funding of food and nutrition research: science or marketing.  JAMA Internal Medicine Published online November 23, 2015. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.6667.

Nestle M, Rosenberg T. The whole world is watching. Soda wars. Sugar tax. US, Mexico [Big Food Watch] World Nutrition November-December 2015, 6, 11-12, 811-832.

Barnoya J, Nestle M.  The food industry and conflicts of interest in nutrition research: A Latin American perspective. Journal of Public Health Policy advance online publication, 29 October 2015:1-6; doi:10.1057/jphp.2015.37.  [Retracted]

Nestle M.  The other benefit to eating less red meat.  CNN, October 26, 2015.

Nestle M.  Big Soda politics: A call to advocacy.  Policy Innovations, Carnegie Council, October 14, 2015.

Nestle M.  When soda companies target minorities, is it exploitation?  Washington Post, October 10, 2015.

Nestle M.   Kerry Trueman: Let’s Ask Marion: Can Exercise Balance Out Soda Drinking?  Civil Eats, August 12, 2015.

Nestle M.  Coca-Cola says its drinks don’t cause obesity.  Science says otherwise.  The Guardian, August 11, 2015.

Caley D, Nestle M. Botulism.  In: Albala K, ed.  The Sage Encyclopedia of Food Issues. Sage 2015: 141- 143.

Caley D, Nestle M. Aflatoxins.  In: Albala K, ed.  The Sage Encyclopedia of Food Issues. Sage 2015: 10-12.

Nesheim MC, Nestle M. The internationalization of the obesity epidemic: the case of sugar-sweetened sodas.  In: Sahn DE, ed.  The Fight against Hunger and Malnutrition: The Role of Food, Agriculture, and Targeted Policies.  Oxford University Press, 2015:89-106.

Nestle M.  Eating made simple: How do you cope with a mountain of conflicting diet advice?  Scientific American, Special Collector’s Edition, The Science of Food. Summer 2015:38-45.

Nestle M.  It’s time to require labels for GMOs.  Time, May 14, 2015.

Simon DB, Nestle M.  Soda lobbies.  In: Goldstein D.  The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets.  Oxford University Press, 2015:681-682.

Nestle M.  Soda.  In: Goldstein D.  The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets.  Oxford University Press, 2015:623-624.

Nestle M.  Is a Paleo Diet Healthy?  NO: You Lose Too Much Pleasure for Dubious Benefits.  Wall Street Journal, March 23, 2015.

Williams SN, Nestle M.  Editorial: ‘Big Food’: taking a critical perspective on a global public health problem.  In: Williams SN, Nestle M, guest eds.  “Big Food”: Critical perspectives on the global growth of the food and beverage industry. Critical Public Health 2015;25:245-247.

Williams SN, Nestle M, guest eds.  “Big Food”: Critical perspectives on the global growth of the food and beverage industry. Critical Public Health 2015;25:245-372.

Nestle M.  The Plain Truth.   New Scientist, March 14, 2015:24-25.  (The online version)

Nestle M.  Goodbye to artificial colors?  CNN, March 4, 2015.


Nestle M.  Günümüzün ´daha fazla ye´ ortamı – Gida sanayisinin rolü (in Turkish).   Yemek ve Kültür 2014;Fall:80-90.

Nestle M.  Regulation does change eating behavior.  In: Brain Food: Hastings College’s Introduction to the Liberal Arts, 2014-2015.  Hastings College Press, 2014:155-158.

Nestle M.  The Soda Industry’s Promises Mean Nothing.  Time Magazine, September 30, 2014.

Nestle M.  No, Cal does not forbid faculty  to express opinions about the soda tax.  Berkeley Times, September 25, 2014:3,15 (reprint of September 23 blog post).

Nestle M.  How U.S. Citizens can hold their government accountable for preventing and reversing malnutrition.  World Nutrition Report, August 28, 2014.

Nestle M.  Foreword.  Cognard-Black J, Goldthwaite MA, eds.  Books That Cook: The Making of a Literary Meal.  New York University Press, 2014:xv-xviii.

Nestle M. Foreword. Poppendieck J. Breadline Knee-Deep in Wheat: Food Assistance in the Great Depression. University of California Press, 2014:ix-xii.

Nesheim MC, Nestle M. Advice for fish consumption: challenging dilemmas. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2014;99:973-974.

Nestle M, Baron RB. Nutrition in Medical Education: From Counting Hours to Measuring Competence. JAMA Intern Med. Published online April 14, 2014. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.440.

Nestle M. Next, Cut the Soda and Junk Food. New York Times, Room for debate: What other unhealthy products should CVS stop selling? February 7, 2014


Blumenthal SJ, Hoffnagle EE, Leung CW, Lofink H, Jensen HH, Foerster SB, Cheung LWY, Nestle M, Willett WC. Strategies to improve the dietary quality of supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) beneficiaries: An assessment of stakeholder opinions. Public Health Nutrition 2013. doi:10.1017/S1368980013002942.

Nestle M. A push for policies for sustainable foods systems. Perspectives, FAO, October 9, 2010.

Nestle M. Conflict of interest in the regulation of food safety: a threat to scientific integrity. JAMA Internal Medicine 2013; Online: doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.9158.

Nestle M. Mediterranean diet month memory—day 26: Marion Nestle remembers a lasting legacy. Oldways, May 26, 2013.

Nestle M, Cohen L, Waters R. Twinkie insanity hits the House. Politico, May 3, 2013.

Nestle M. Food is a political issue. World Nutrition May 2013, 4,5, 270-295.

Nestle M. Doctors should stress food variety, minimal processing, and moderation. In: Hunnicutt S, ed. At Issue: Is the Western Diet Making the World Sick? Greenhaven Press, 2013:71-75.

Gussow J, Kirschenmann F, Uauy R, Schell O, Nestle M, Popkin B, Cannon G, Monteiro C.
The American genius. [Appraisals]. World Nutrition 2013;4:150-170.

Nestle M. School meals: A starting point for countering childhood obesity. JAMA Pediatrics. 2013;():1-2. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.404

Nestle M. Liberty from big soda. New York Daily News, March 10, 2013.

Leung C, Blumenthal S, Hoffnagle E, Jensen H, Foerster S, Nestle M, Cheung L, Mozaffarian D, Willett W. Associations of Food Stamp Participation with Obesity and Dietary Quality among Low-income Children. Pediatrics 2013;131:463–472.

Nestle M, Nesheim MC. To Supplement or Not to Supplement: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendations on Calcium and Vitamin D. Annals of Internal Medicine 2013;158(9):701-702.

Nestle M. Today’s “eat more” environment: the role of the food industry. In: Pringle P, ed. A Place at the Table: The Crisis of 49 Million Hungry Americans and How to Solve It. PublicAffairs, 2013;95-106.

Nestle M. Food safety and food security: a matter of public health. In: Estes CL, et al, eds. Health Policy: Crisis and Reform, 6th ed. Jones and Bartlett Learning, 2013:125-130.

Nestle M. Politics. In: Smith AF, ed. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America. Vol 3, Pike-Zomb. Oxford University Press, 2013:28-37.


Nestle M. Foreword to Fairfax SK et al. California Cuisine and Just Food. MIT Press, 2012:xii-xiv.

Nestle M. Waistline or bottom line. New Scientist, November 24, 2012:28-29.

Young LR, Nestle M. Reducing portion sizes to prevent obesity: A call to action. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 2012;43(5):565-68.

Nestle M. Marion Nestle on the Early Nutritionists. In: Taylor MJ, Wolf C, eds. 100 Classic Cookbooks, 501 Classic Recipes. Rizzoli, 2012:46-47.

Nestle M. Cookbooks and food studies canons. Foreword to Taylor MJ, Wolf C, eds. 100 Classic Cookbooks, 501 Classic Recipes. Rizzoli, 2012:8-9.

Nesheim M, Nestle M. Is a calorie a calorie? Nova ScienceNow, September 20, 2012.

Nestle M. Online debate: What role should government play in combating obesity? Wall Street Journal, September 18, 2012.

Nestle M. Online debate: Buying organics is a personal choice. New York Times, September 10, 2012.

Temple N, Nestle M. Population Nutrition and Health Promotion. In: Temple NJ, Wilson T, Jacobs DR, eds. Nutritional Health: Strategies for Disease Prevention, 3rd ed. Humana Press, 212:373-450.

Nestle M, Wilson T. Food Industry and Political Influences on American Nutrition. In: Temple NJ, Wilson T, Jacobs DR, eds. Nutritional Health: Strategies for Disease Prevention, 3rd ed. Humana Press, 2012:477-490.

Stuckler D, Nestle M. Big food, food systems, and global health. PLoS Medicine 2012;9(6):e1001242 (4 pages).

Nestle M. Nanotechnology: No One Is Evaluating the Risks! Mother Earth News, April/May 2012:18.

Nestle M. Better Information and Better Options. Room for Debate: Do We Need More Advice About Eating Well? New York Times online, April 16, 2012.

Nestle M. Utopian Dream: A New Farm Bill. Dissent 2012:Spring:15-19.

Joseph M, Nestle M. Food and Politics in the Modern Age: 1920 – 2012. In: Bentley A, ed. A Cultural History of Food in the Modern Age, Vol. 6. Berg, 2112:87-110.

Isoldi KK, Dalton S, Rodriguez DP, Nestle M. Classroom “cupcake” celebrations: observations of foods offered and consumed. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior 2012;44:71-75.


Nestle M. World’s first “fat tax”: what will it achieve? New Scientist, October 23, 2011:30-31 (Obesity’s Match).

Nestle M. Food stamps for fast food? No: what the poor need is healthy food. Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinal, September 24, 2011.

Nestle M. School food, public policy, and strategies for change. In: Robert SA, Weaver-Hightower MB, eds. School Food Politics: The Complex Ecology of Hunger and Feeding in Schools Around the World. New York: Peter Lang, 2011:143-46.

Robbins A, Nestle M. Obesity as collateral damage: a call for papers on the obesity epidemic [editorial]. Journal of Public Health Policy 2011;32:143-45.

Csete J, Nestle M. Global nutrition: complex aetiology demands social as well as nutrient-based solutions. In: Parker R, Sommer M, eds. Routledge Handbook in Global Public Health, Routledge, 2011:303-13.







  • Nestle M. Preventing childhood diabetes: The need for public health intervention (editorial). American Journal of Public Health 2005;95:1497-1499.
  • Nestle M. Increasing portion sizes in American diets: more calories, more obesity (commentary). Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2003;103:39-40.
  • Berg J, Nestle M, Bentley A. Food studies. In: Katz SH, Weaver WW, eds. The Scribner Encyclopedia of Food and Culture, Vol 2. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2003:16-18.

  • Nestle M. The ironic politics of obesity (editorial). Science 2003:299:781.

  • Nestle M. Not good enough to eat (commentary). New Scientist 2003;177 (February 22):25.

  • Nestle M. Hearty Fare? Review of Faergeman, O. Coronary Heart Disease: Genes, Drugs, and the Agricultural Connection. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2003. Nature 2003;425:902.
  • Nestle M. Thinking about food (letter). Wilson Quarterly Autumn 2003 [27(4)]:4.

  • Young LR, Nestle M. The contribution of expanding Portion Sizes to the U.S. obesity epidemic. American Journal of Public Health 2002;92:246-249.
  • Mahabir S, Coit D, Liebes L, Brady MS, Lewis JJ, Roush G, Nestle M, Fay D, Berwick M. Randomized, placebo-controlled trial of dietary supplementation of a-tocopherol on mutagen sensitivity levels in melanoma patients: a pilot trial. Melanoma Research 2002;12:83-90.
  • Byers T, Nestle M, McTeirnan A, Doyle C, Currie-Williams A, Gansler T, Thun M, and the American Cancer Society 2001 Nutrition and Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee. American Cancer Society Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention: Reducing the Risk of Cancer with Healthy Food Choices and Physical Activity. CA Cancer Journal for Clinicians 2002;52:92-119.
  • Fried EJ, Nestle M. The growing political movement against soft drinks in schools (commentary). Journal of the American Medical Association 2002;288:2181.


  • Nestle M. Genetically engineered “golden” rice unlike to overcome vitamin A deficiency (letter). Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2001;101:289-290.
  • Nestle M. Nutrition and women’s health: the politics of dietary advice [editorial]. Journal of the American Medical Women’s Association 2001;56:42-43.

  • Kumanyika SK, Morssink CB, Nestle M. Minority women and advocacy for women’s health. American Journal of Public Health 2001;91:1383-1388.

  • Nestle M. Food company sponsorship of nutrition research and professional activities: A conflict of interest? Public Health Nutrition 2001;4:1015-1022.
  • Nestle M. Review of: Bendich A, Deckelbaum RJ, eds. Primary and Secondary Preventive Nutrition (Totowa, NJ: Humana Press, 2001). American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2001;74:704.



  • Nestle M. Hunger in America: A Matter of Policy. Social Research 1999;66(1): 257-282.
  • Nestle M. Commentary [dietary guidelines]. Food Policy 1999;24(2-3):307-310.
  • Nestle M. Meat or wheat for the next millennium? Plenary lecture: animal v. plant foods in human diets and health: is the historical record unequivocal? Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 1999;58:211-218 (online here).
  • Nestle M. Heart disease’s decline (letter). New York Times, August 12, 1999:A18.
  • Nestle M. Dietary supplement advertising: a matter of politics, not science. Journal of Nutrition Education 1999;31:278-282.



  • Nestle M.Broccoli sprouts as inducers of carcinogen-detoxifying enzyme systems: clinical, dietary, and policy implications [Commentary].Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 1997;94:11149-11151.

  • Nestle M.The role of chocolate in the American diet: nutritional perspectives.In: Szogyi A, ed.Chocolate, Food of the Gods.Westport, CN: Greenwood Press, 1997:111-124.
  • Nestle M.Epidemiologists’ Paradise.Junshi C, Campbell TC, Junyao L, Peto R.Diet, Life-style, and Mortality in China: A Study of the Characteristics of 65 Chinese Counties.NY: Oxford University Press, 1990 [book review].BioScience 1991;41:725-726.

  • Nestle M. National nutrition monitoring policy: the continuing need for legislative intervention. J Nutrition Education 1990;22:141-144.
  • Nestle M, Porter DV. Evolution of federal dietary guidance policy: from food adequacy to chronic disease prevention.Caduceus: A Museum Journal for the Health Sciences 1990;6(2):43-67.

  • McGinnis JM, Nestle M. The Surgeon General’s report on nutrition and health: policy implications and implementation strategies. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition1989;49:23-28.
  • Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service. The Surgeon General’s Report on Nutrition and Health. Publ. No. (PHS) 88-50210. Washington DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1988, 712 pages [Managing Editor]. Reprint: Prima Publishing, 1989. Reprint: Warner Books, 1989.

  • Nestle M. Promoting health and preventing disease: national nutrition objectives for 1990 and 2000. Food Technology 1988;42(2):103-107.
  • Nestle M, Lee PR, Baron, RB. Nutrition policy update.  In: Weininger J, Briggs GM, eds.  Nutrition Update, Vol 1.  New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1983:285-313.
Oct 13 2015

Salt warning labels coming to New York City, December 1

Last month, the New York City Board of Health voted to require chain restaurants to publish warnings when menu items contain more than the recommended daily limit for sodium, thus taking the lead on regulating the amount of salt in foods.

Salt, says the city health department, is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease but also a leading driver of health disparities: blood pressure levels are higher in African-American populations.

The rule, which takes effect December 1, says that chains with 15 or more locations in New York City must display a warning symbol — a salt shaker inside a triangle — if the item has more than 2,300 milligrams of salt.

The policy does not restrict choice or limit how much sodium can be in food.

The New York State Restaurant Association (NRA) called the new rule “burdensome.”

It issued a statement:

This is just the latest in a long litany of superfluous hoops that restaurants here in New York must jump through…Every one of these cumbersome new laws makes it tougher and tougher for restaurants to find success.

The health department estimates the regulation will apply to 10 percent of all menu items.  Some examplesof affected products (For the record, 40% of salt is sodium; for grams of salt multiply by 2.5):

  • Panera Bread Smokehouse Turkey Panini (2,590 mg),                  “
  • TGI Friday’s sesame jack chicken strips (2,700 mg)
  • Regular-size Applebee’s Grilled Shrimp ‘n Spinach Salad (2,990 mg)
  • Subway footlong spicy Italian sub (2,980 mg)
  • Red Robin monster-size salted caramel milkshake (3,400 mg)

But the Salt Institute, a salt producers’ trade group, called the policy “misguided”:

This is another example of the government creating policy based on outdated, incorrect sodium guidelines that have been refuted by ten years of research. Research shows Americans already eat within the safe range of sodium consumption and population-wide sodium reduction strategies are unnecessary and could be harmful,” said Lori Roman, President of the Salt Institute.

The consumer group Center for Science in the Public Interest said the proposed warnings “will prompt restaurants to use less salt and will help consumers reduce their risk of stroke or heart attack.”

This one will be interesting to watch.  Will people pay attention?  Will chain restaurants take steps to reduce sodium levels?  Will hypertension levels decline?  I hope researchers are hard at work collecting baseline data.

Sep 21 2015

Sugars for toddlers: an invitational roundtable from The Sugar Association

This week, I’m going to be posting items about sugar politics.

Item on sugars #1:

Funny thing.  I was not invited to this event, but someone who was invited passed along the invitation.  You too will be sad you weren’t invited.

I am contacting you at the request of Dr. Courtney Gaine, VP of Scientific Affairs from The Sugar Association, regarding an invitational roundtable on The Role of Sugars in Supporting a Nutrient-dense Diet for Toddlers, 12 to 24 Months.  It will be sponsored by the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, Department of Pediatrics, chaired by Dr. Ronald Kleinman from Harvard Medical School, co-chaired by Dr. Frank Greer from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, and facilitated by Sylvia Rowe.  The roundtable is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from the Association….

Roundtable Objectives

  • Provide a forum to discuss the science and research voids on the role of sugars as a strategy that may help parents successfully transition their older infants and toddlers (12 to 24 months) from complementary infant foods to consuming a variety of nutrient-dense foods from the family table.
  • Generate potential research ideas and questions on this topic for future guidance on the feeding of young children, including birth to 24 months, which is scheduled for integration into the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
  • Create the impetus to extend this research to public-private partnerships with industry, academy and the government.

Proposed Topic Areas 

  • The roundtable has been tentatively divided into these 5 topic areas: 1) transitional toddler feeding and nutrition policy; 2) physiology; 3) sugars in toddler feeding practices; 4) parent-feeding strategies: emerging science; and 5) the research path forward….


The Sugar Association will reimburse you for all reasonable travel expenses, plus a $2,000 honorarium for your review of abstracts and presentations, which you will receive in mid-October, and your participation in the 1 ½ day roundtable.

This requires some translation.  I may be over-interpreting here, but as I see it, the Sugar Association is paying academics $2000 to implicitly endorse:

  • Promoting the use of sugar as a way to get toddlers to eat healthier foods.
  • Making sure the 2020 dietary guidelines say nothing about the need for kids to eat less sugar (we don’t even have the guidelines for 2015 yet).
  • Making sure that government agencies don’t advise or set policies to encourage eating less sugar.


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