Thursday, May 01, 2008

Marian Nestle

I had the pleasure of hearing Marian Nestle (author of numerous books on Food Politics) speak at Cal Poly University last night.

She gave a really good overview of some of the reasons we're having such a problem with obesity. One reason she said is that food manufacturers are under pressure to sell more food and grow their profits - which means getting us to eat more. Americans are now eating about double the calories they were in the 1980's. Here are some tricks the food manufactuers use:

- bigger portion sizes (charge more for smaller portions, i.e. soda is almost 5 time as much per ounce for a can as for a 2-liter bottle)
- encourage mindless eating (e.g. in front of the tv)
- keep food in your proximity (cafes in book stores, vending machines in schools)
- low prices (At McDonalds - $5.00 will buy you 5 burgers or 1 salad!)
- use sugar to add value (and make foods more addictive)
- use nutrition and health claims to sell food (Do you think eating Cheerios will really lower your cholesterol?)
- marketing to kids

So when you go to the supermarket, this is what she says NOT to buy:

- Anything from the center aisles (most heavily processed and junk foods)
- anything with more than 5 ingredients
- anything with an ingredient you can't pronounce
- anything with artificial ingredients
- anything with health claims
- anything with a cartoon on the package

There's so much more great info about what to eat in her book, aptly titled, What To Eat. For more info, check out her web site at:


Allison Fouse said...

Wow. This makes total sense. Thanks for posting.

Laurie Woodward said...

That is practical easy to use advice. Thanks Cathe.

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