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Dr. Marion Nestle image

Acclaimed Author & Professor of Nutrition and Public Health

BIOGRAPHY

Marion Nestle is a consumer advocate, 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 health, with an emphasis on the role of food industry marketing.  Her books explore how politics affects food production, dietary intake, food safety, and human and planetary health.

She is the author of the classic Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health, now in its third edition. In 2003, Food Politics won awards from the Association of American Publishers, the James Beard Foundation, and World Hunger Year.  Her second book, Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety won the Steinhardt School of Education’s Griffiths Research Award in 2004.

Dr. Nestle’s 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 (2008); Feed Your Pet Right, co-authored with Malden Nesheim (2010); and Why Calories Count: from Science to Politics, also with Malden Nesheim, which won book of the year from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) in 2012. Her book, Eat, Drink, Vote: An Illustrated Guide to Food Politics won an IACP book award in 2014, as did  Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda (and Winning) in 2016, along with  the 2016 James Beard Award for Writing & Literature. In 2018, she published Unsavory Truth: How Food Companies Skew The Science of What We Eat, which exposes how the food industry corrupts scientific research for profit, Her latest book, written with Kerry Trueman, is Let's Ask Marion: What You Need to Know about the Politics of Food, Nutrition, and Health (University of California Press, September 1, 2020).

Marion Nestle is the emerita 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. She also holds an appointment as visiting professor in the Cornell Division of Nutritional Sciences.  She has been awarded Honorary Doctor of Science degrees from Transylvania University in Kentucky (2012) and from CUNY’s Macaulay Honors College (2016).  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. She appears frequently in documentary films, among them SuperSize Me! (2004), A Place at the Table (2013), Fed Up (2014), El Susto (2019), and Code Blue (2020). 

Dr. Nestle has received many awards and honors, among them the Bard College Prison Initiative’s John Dewey Award for Distinguished Public Service (2010), the National Public Health Hero award from the University of California Berkeley School Of Public Health (2011), the James Beard Foundation Leadership Award (2013), and the Innovator of the Year Award from the United States Healthful Food Council (2014). In 2018 she was named Grande Dame  by Les Dames d'Escoffier and received the International Association of Culinary Professionals Trailblazer Award.  She received the first Changemaker Award from the Food Policy Center at Hunter College (2019).

Dr. Nestle’s 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.

From 2008 to 2013, she wrote the monthly “Food Matters” column for the San Francisco Chronicle. She blogs daily (almost) at www.foodpolitics.com.  She can be followed on her Twitter account @marionnestle, which has more than 140,000 followers.  Time magazine named it as one of the top 140 most influential Twitter accounts, and one of the top 10 in health and science, and Science Magazine and the Guardian list it as a top account to follow.

Marion Nestle's website

Marion Nestle on Twitter

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