Marion Nestle

Acclaimed Professor of Nutrition and Public Health,
Author of Food Politics and What to Eat

Marion Nestle is a consumer activist, nutritionist, award-winning author, and academic who specializes in the politics of food and dietary choice.  Her research examines scientific, economic, and social influences on food choice and obesity, with an emphasis on the role of food marketing.  Her books explore issues like the effects of food production on food safety, our environment, access to food and nutrition.

She is the author of the classic, Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health (2002, paperback 2003, revised edition 2007) and Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety (2003, paperback 2004, revised edition 2010), both from University of California Press. In 2003, Food Politics won awards from the Association for American Publishers, the James Beard Foundation, and World Hunger Year. An updated 10th anniversary edition will be released in September 2012 from UC Press.  Her second book,  Safe Food won the Steinhardt School of Education’s Griffiths Research Award in 2004.

Her book, What to Eat, was named as one of Amazon’s top ten books of 2006 and a “Must Read” by Eating Well magazine; it also won the Better Life Award from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and the James Beard Foundation book award for best food reference in 2007.  She has also written; Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine , a book about food safety, and Feed Your Pet Right, co-authored with Malden Nesheim, and Why Calories Count: from Science to Politics, also with Malden Nesheim. In 2013 she was featured in the documentary film, A Place at the Table. She also contributed to the companion book of the same name. She is currently working on Soda: Corporate Profits versus Public Health, to be co-written with Neal Baer and due in 2014. Her most recent book is titled Eat Drink Vote: An Illustrated Guide to Food Politics.

Marion Nestle is Paulette Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health (the department she chaired from 1988-2003) and Professor of Sociology at New York University. Her degrees include a Ph.D. in molecular biology and an M.P.H. in public health nutrition, both from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Nestle has received many awards and honors including the 2011 National Public Health Hero award from the University of California Berkeley School Of Public Health, and a 2013 Leadership Award from the James Beard Foundation. In 2014 the United States Healthful Food Council chose Dr. Nestle as the Innovator of the Year.

Her first faculty position was in the Department of Biology at Brandeis University. From 1976-86 she was Associate Dean of the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine, where she taught nutrition to medical students, residents, and practicing physicians, and directed a nutrition education center sponsored by the American Cancer Society.

From 1986-88, she was senior nutrition policy advisor in the Department of Health and Human Services and managing editor of the 1988 Surgeon General’s Report on Nutrition and Health. She has been a member of the FDA Food Advisory Committee and Science Board, the USDA/DHHS Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, and American Cancer Society committees that issue dietary guidelines for cancer prevention. Her research focuses on how science and society influence dietary advice and practice.

She writes the “Food Matters” column for the San Francisco Chronicle, and blogs daily (almost) at and for The Atlantic at  She can be followed on her Twitter account @marionnestle, which TIME magazine named as one of the top 140 most influential, and one of the top 10 in health and science.

"[What to Eat] is the perfect guidebook to help navigate through the confusion of which foods are good for us." —USA Today
"When it comes to the increasingly treacherous landscape of the American supermarket, with its marketing hype and competing health claims, Marion Nestle is an absolutely indispensable guide: knowledgeable, eminently sane-- and wonderful company too." —Michael Pollan, author of Food Rules
Marion Nestle©Lou Manna, Photography