by Marion Nestle
Mar 3 2012

It’s Out! Why Calories Count: From Science to Politics

The official publication date is April 1 but April Fool.  I did my first book signing at Drexel University yesterday.


  • Congratulations!

  • Congratulations, Marion, on your latest “baby”! Can’t wait to read this one.

  • Anthro

    I’ve already read it–and commented a couple of times (am I naive in thinking you read these comments?). Congratulations to you both! I’ve already been quoting from it far and wide.

  • Reina Podell

    Looks like you are due for a congratulations as well! Congrats!!!

  • pjnoir

    Count where, when? They don’t count if all you do is add them up and hold fat calories in distain over carb calories. There is far more to losing weight than a measure of energy. But if packaged food manufacturers need a cheap peg to splash on the box than it means – ZIP! Eat real foods and calories don’t mean anything.

  • Congratulations! What an accomplishment! I am very interested in the topic and look forward to reading your views and information. Thank you!

  • Anthro


    You obviously have not read the book. Give it a whirl before you take on people as eminently qualified as Drs. Nestle and Nesheim.

    I lost 45 lbs six years ago (I’m 5’ 2”) by counting calories (and measuring portions). I eat from all food groups, emphasizing veggies and fruit. As I am mostly vegetarian I eat grains and beans–in appropriate amounts to keep within my calorie count. I have reversed my diabetes, heart disease, and reduced my bp meds by more than half. I have the medical records to back me up.

    You have to eat less to lose weight, no way around it. The only way to know you are eating less, but getting enough fuel is to have some kind of caloric target. Of course I don’t sit around with a calculator obsessively counting–after six years I can estimate pretty well, but I have found no reason to eliminate any food groups and the scale lets me know if I need to start measuring again.

    It is wishful thinking to think you can eat as much as you want of anything other than some veggies unless you “want” just the right amount for your body–which just isn’t the case if you’re overweight.

  • Suzanne

    I don’t believe I am taking on Drs. Nestle and Nesheim either by stating that it is not necessary to have a caloric target or to eat less in order to lose weight. Eating differently, yes. Eliminating starches, sugars, and grains has allowed me to eat to satiety, in conjunction with a high saturated fat diet with a substantial amount of greens. I don’t need to count and measure what I eat. I lost 80 pounds eating this way, and remarkably, my weight has stabilized at a healthy weight for my height without modification on my part except to listen to my hunger. I stop when sated.

  • Suzanne

    I will however be purchasing Dr. Nestle’s book for the food politics angle!

  • Margeretrc

    Just because calories count–and they do–doesn’t mean we have to count them. If that’s what you want to do, then fine, but it isn’t necessary. If you eat the way we were designed by evolution to eat, calorie counting becomes superfluous. If you want to eat mostly grains and other starches, then yes, you will need to count calories and/or monitor portions. I don’t, so I don’t. I have maintained my weight/size for at least 7 years, but I didn’t do it by counting calories–that never worked for me and believe me, I tried. I did it by eating real food in amounts that satisfied my hunger. Over the past year, I have actually lost weight–and inches–by eating more fat and fewer carbs. Perhaps I will eventually read Dr. Nestle’s book. I’m always interested in science. But it will have to wait until I finish several other books I already have lined up.

  • Gaye Crispin

    Hi Marion,

    I am looking forward to reading your book. Congratulations 🙂


  • I look forward to reading your book. Personally, if you are looking to lose wait, then you need to start counting calories so you are aware how many calories a day you are consuming versus how many you should be consuming. Once you get used to a healthy diet that will maintain an acceptable weight, counting calories becomes less important. Best of luck with the book.

  • Margeretrc

    All those who think they have to count calories, I ask (again): Why would humans be the only animal on the planet that has to count calories? Because we can? Rubbish. By and large, only people in this country (and perhaps some in the UK) count calories and yet we are the ones with the most serious problem. Does that not tell anyone anything? And if you’re going to say that those who have a problem do so because they don’t count calories, I would beg to differ. It may be true for some–many people don’t count calories AND eat all the wrong things–but there are also many who are counting calories, exercising, eating what we are told to eat and still not losing weight or getting healthy. I used to be one of those.

  • Emaho

    In my opinion Marion Nestle has insulted the intelligence of all overweight and obese people with her title. Who does not know that calories count?

    Maybe this book will help fat people who try to count every calorie they eat and then try to burn them off with a measured amount of exercise. But those people would not continue doing that impossible task except that is what many miss informed medical people keep advising them to do….Eat less, Move more.

    The missing key is how the body deals with the different types of calories consumed. Carbohydrates will increase blood sugar levels. The body knows that elevated blood sugars cause all kinds of damage, thus it uses insulin to get it out of the blood as quickly as possible. Our intellect should know about that damage because diabetics are more prone to have heart attacks, mental problems, cancer, arthritus and other diseases of civilization.