How Food Companies Skew the Science of What We Eat
By Marion Nestle
America's leading nutritionist exposes how the food industry corrupts scientific research for profit
Whenever we turn on the TV, flip a page in a magazine, or glance at a flyer in the grocery store, we are constantly bombarded with nutritional advice. Almond products can boost your memory! Milk helps build up your bones! Cereal is part of a doctor-approved balanced breakfast for growing girls and boys! Study after study tells us what we should eat, how much, and when. Words like "superfood" and "guilt free" convince us that we're making the right choice when we pluck an item off the shelf and head for the checkout line. We count on nutrition science to guide us through the overwhelming choices in our local grocery store and helps us make the best decisions for our health.
Except it often doesn't. Many of these studies we rely on to make decisions are not funded by unbiased third parties-they're actually funded by companies seeking to buoy their own products. As renowned food expert Marion Nestle reveals in Unsavory Truth, most nutrition societies, committees, and departments are actually in the food industry's pocket. Whether it's a study claiming moderate exercise is enough to cancel out the calories in sugary sodas (backed by Coca-Cola) or a report about how blueberries can reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction (backed by the US Highbush Blueberry Council), the food industry has learned how to turn selective disclosure and partisan probes into major profit. Like Big Pharma has corrupted medical science, so Big Food has corrupted nutrition. In a nation where more than two-thirds of adults and one-third of children are considered overweight or obese, it's never been more important to put our public health first. With stricter legislation for food companies and researchers, stricter policies for societies and journals, and better consumer education, Nestle argues that we have a fighting chance to get our country's nutrition back on track.
With riveting prose and unmatched investigative rigor, Unsavory Truth reveals how big food companies took over nutrition science-and how we can take it back.
Marion Nestle is Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, emerita, at New York University, and Visiting Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell. She has a Ph.D. in molecular biology and an MPH in public health nutrition from UC Berkeley. She lives in New York City.
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- Publication date:
29 Nov 2018
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