Marion Nestle

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Marion Nestle
Nestle Credit-Bill-Hayes-281x300.jpg
Born (1936-09-10) September 10, 1936 (age 85)
New York[1]
Alma materUniversity of California, Berkeley
Known forPublic health advocacy, opposition to unhealthy foods, promotion of food studies as an academic field
Scientific career
InstitutionsNew York University
ThesisPurification and properties of a nuclease from Serratia marcescens (1968)

Marion Nestle (born 1936) is an American academic. She was the Paulette Goddard professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University. She was also a professor of Sociology at NYU and a visiting professor of nutritional sciences at Cornell University. Nestle's name is pronounced like the English verb "nestle",[2] not like the name of the Swiss food conglomerate, to which she is unrelated.



Nestle received her BA from UC Berkeley, Phi Beta Kappa, after attending school there from 1954 to 1959. 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 undertook postdoctoral work in biochemistry and developmental biology at Brandeis University, joining the faculty in biology in 1975.[3] Through this professorship, she was assigned a nutrition course to teach and she realized that there was no standardized nutritional requirements, which kicked off her interest in nutrition.[3]

From 1976 to 1986, Nestle was associate dean for human biology and taught nutrition at the UCSF School of Medicine. From 1986 to 1988, she was senior nutrition policy advisor in the Department of Health and Human Services and editor of the Surgeon General's Report on Nutrition and Health.[4]

In 1988, she was appointed Chair of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University. She held the position until 2003.[5] In 1996, she founded the Food Studies program at New York University with food consultant Clark Wolf. She hoped that the new program of study would raise the public's awareness of food and its role in culture, society, and personal nutrition. It not only succeeded but inspired other universities to launch their own programs.[3] Her research examines scientific and socioeconomic influences on food choice, obesity, and food safety, emphasizing the role of food marketing.[6][7] Through her role at NYU and her book, Food Politics (2002), she has become a national influencer of food policy, nutrition, and food education.[3]

She is the author of numerous articles in professional publications and is the author or co-author of nine books. Her latest book, Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda (and Winning), was published in October 2015.

Nestle wrote the "Food Matters" column for the San Francisco Chronicle from 2003 to 2010. She blogs at, and tweets from @marionnestle.[8] She has appeared in the documentary films Super Size Me (2004), Food, Inc. (2008), Food Fight: The Inside Story of the Food Industry (2008), Killer at Large (2008), In Organic We Trust (2012), A Place at the Table (2012),[9] Fed Up (2014),[10] In Defense of Food (2015),[11] and Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! (2017).

She received the John Dewey Award for Distinguished Public Service from Bard College in 2010 and in 2011, was named Public Health Hero by the University of California School of Public Health at Berkeley.[12] She received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Transylvania University in Kentucky in 2012.[13] In 2013, she received the James Beard Leadership Award and Healthful Food Council's Innovator of the Year Award and the Public Health Association of New York City's Media Award in 2014.[12]

In 2011, Forbes magazine listed Nestle as number 2 of "The world's 7 most powerful foodies."[14]

In a 2013 interview, Nestle listed Wendell Berry, Frances Moore Lappé, Joan Gussow, and Michael Jacobson as people who inspired her.[15]

In 2019, Nestle appeared in Morgan Suprlock's documentary Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! to talk about the dangers of false perception of healthy options within the fast food industry.[16]


  • Nutrition in Clinical Practice. Greenbrae, California: Jones Medical Publications. 1985. ISBN 978-0-930010-11-9.
  • Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health. Berkeley: University of California Press. 2002. ISBN 978-0-520-24067-4.
  • Safe Food: Bacteria, Biotechnology, and Bioterrorism. Berkeley: University of California Press. 2003. ISBN 978-0-520-23292-1.
  • What to Eat. New York: North Point Press (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). 2006. p. 611. ISBN 978-0-86547-738-4.
  • Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine. Berkeley: University of California Press. 2008. pp. 219. ISBN 978-0-520-25781-8.
  • Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety (Updated and expanded ed.). Berkeley: University of California Press. 2010. ISBN 978-0-520-26606-3.
  • Nesheim, Malden C. (2010). Feed Your Pet Right (1st Free Press trade pbk. ed.). New York: Free Press/Simon & Schuster. pp. 376. ISBN 978-1-4391-6642-0.
  • Why Calories Count: From Science to Politics. Berkeley: University of California Press. 2012. ISBN 978-0-520-262881.
  • Eat, Drink, Vote: An Illustrated Guide to Food Politics. Rodale Books. 2013. ISBN 978-1609615864.
  • Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda (And Winning). Oxford University Press. 2015. ISBN 978-0190263430.
  • Unsavory Truth: How Food Companies Skew the Science of What We Eat. Basic Books. 2018. ISBN 978-1541617315.
  • Nestle, Marion (2020). Let's ask Marion: What You Need to Know about the Politices of Food, Nutrition and Health. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-97469-2.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Marion Nestle: Food Scientist Extraordinaire". Ananke. 2015-07-12. Retrieved 2021-09-12.
  2. ^ "Food Politics". BookBrowse. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d "Marion Nestle on Her History With Food Studies and the Future of Food Politics". Village Voice. 20 June 2013. Retrieved 2015-11-17.
  4. ^ "Marion Nestle - Faculty Bio". New York University. Archived from the original on May 10, 2011. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
  5. ^ "Marion Nestle | Big Think". Big Think. Retrieved 2015-11-17.
  6. ^ "Interview with Marion Nestle". Big Think. January 14, 2009.
  7. ^ "Interview: Marion Nestle". PBS Frontline. December 10, 2003.
  8. ^ "About Marion Nestle". 2008-11-26. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
  9. ^ IMDB entry
  10. ^ Rosenberg, Martha (May 22, 2014). "Why Is the U.S. So Fat? Katie Couric Documentary Fed Up Seeks to Explain". Huffington Post. Retrieved May 25, 2014.
  11. ^ "In Defense of Food: Transcript". PBS.
  12. ^ a b "Marion Nestle - Faculty Bio". Retrieved 2015-11-17.
  13. ^ "Transylvania University: Expert nutritionist Marion Nestle receives honorary degree from Transylvania University". Archived from the original on 2015-12-21. Retrieved 2015-11-17.
  14. ^ Pollan, Michael (November 2, 2011). "The World's 7 Most Powerful Foodies". Forbes. Archived from the original on November 9, 2011. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  15. ^ Marshall, Kate (2013). "Ten Years of Food Politics: An Interview with Marion Nestle". Gastronomica. 13 (3): 1–3. doi:10.1525/gfc.2013.13.3.1.
  16. ^ Spurlock, Morgan (director) (September 6, 2019). Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! (Film Documentary). Archived from the original on 2021-12-19. Retrieved August 8, 2021.

External links[edit]