Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health

Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health Review

We all witness, in advertising and on supermarket shelves, the fierce competition for our food dollars. In this engrossing exposé, Marion Nestle goes behind the scenes to reveal how the competition really works and how it affects our health. The abundance of food in the United States--enough calories to meet the needs of every man, woman, and child twice over--has a downside. Our overefficient food industry must do everything possible to persuade people to eat more--more food, more often, and in larger portions--no matter what it does to waistlines or well-being.

Like manufacturing cigarettes or building weapons, making food is very big business. Food companies in 2000 generated nearly $900 billion in sales. They have stakeholders to please, shareholders to satisfy, and government regulations to deal with. It is nevertheless shocking to learn precisely how food companies lobby officials, co-opt experts, and expand sales by marketing to children, members of minority groups, and people in developing countries. We learn that the food industry plays politics as well as or better than other industries, not least because so much of its activity takes place outside the public view.

Editor of the 1988 Surgeon General's Report on Nutrition and Health, Nestle is uniquely qualified to lead us through the maze of food industry interests and influences. She vividly illustrates food politics in action: watered-down government dietary advice, schools pushing soft drinks, diet supplements promoted as if they were First Amendment rights. When it comes to the mass production and consumption of food, strategic decisions are driven by economics--not science, not common sense, and certainly not health.

No wonder most of us are thoroughly confused about what to eat to stay healthy. An accessible and balanced account, Food Politics will forever change the way we respond to food industry marketing practices. By explaining how much the food industry influences government nutrition policies and how cleverly it links its interests to those of nutrition experts, this pathbreaking book helps us understand more clearly than ever before what we eat and why.

Title:Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health
Edition Language:English

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    Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health Reviews

  • Trevor

    There is really only one thing driving the food industry – the hunger for more profit. This is such an obvious fact that it hardly needs to be restated, however, it is best to keep obvious facts at ...

  • Jodi

    This book was a difficult read. The information about the history of each change to the food pyramid (something none of us should use as a dietary guide anyway) was particularly boring and tedious to ...

  • David

    Food is indeed political. At least this is a message that I’m being hit with a lot recently. Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution on TV, a show that takes on America’s bad eating habits and tries to c...

  • Katie

    Boy... if you have any conspiracy-theorist-leaning tendencies at all, this book will really get you going! I think most of us are aware of ties between food corporations and our government's food regu...

  • Mark Hartzer

    If I had to paraphrase and summarize Nestle, it would be that you would be very wise to question every single thing you put in your mouth. Why exactly are you eating that particular item? Is it becaus...

  • Irene

    I actually didn't finish this book, which for me is a very rare thing. I got about 3/4 of the way through but then had to stop and return the book to the school library, where it was about 3 months ov...

  • Ginny Messina

    Published by the University of California press, this reads a lot more like a textbook than popular literature and it can be a little bit of a chore to plod through. But for anyone who wants to unders...

  • Amy

    This information in this book is priceless. It is shocking how the food industry functions, and our society seriously needs to start thinking for themselves, instead of buying into all the propoganda ...

  • Ashley

    Book club pick for June 2015 ...

  • Darren

    At times you might be forgiven for thinking that surely food can be left free of politics, when so much else in the world is tied up with political string. Sorry, but politics plays a big place here t...