The Reinventing the Supermarket Podcast Series

#10 Marion Nestle – Big Soda.

Big Obesity.

We are joined by academic and author Marion Nestle. Back in 2002 Marion Nestle authored the acclaimed book Food Politics, sharing its name with her popular Food Politics blog which champions the role of real food in a healthy human diet. Marion’s most recent book, Soda Politics, brings the food politics battle right to the door of the giant soft drink manufacturers and raises critical and disturbing points about the nature of marketing soft drinks, not just to an ever-more obese public, but the targeting of soft drink marketing to children in particular. As a result of her tireless activism, Marion Nestle has been described as one of the most influential foodies in America.

We discuss the issue of marketing to children, and importantly, why soft drink manufacturers won’t stop doing it anytime soon. We’ll also touch on major gaps from a public policy perspective and how policy-makers don’t seem to have learned much since the days of tobacco marketing. And we’ll take a look at what’s been happening with soft drink sales since the spotlight of public discourse turned its attention to sugary drinks.

Marion Nestle is Paulette Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University, which she chaired from 1988-2003. She is also Professor of Sociology at NYU and Visiting Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell. She holds honorary degrees from Transylvania University in Kentucky (2012) and from the City University of New York’s Macaulay Honors College (2016). She earned a Ph.D. in molecular biology and an M.P.H. in public health nutrition from the University of California, Berkeley.

From 1986-88, she was senior nutrition policy advisor in the Department of Health and Human Services and editor of the 1988 Surgeon General’s Report on Nutrition and Health. Her research examines scientific and socioeconomic influences on food choice, obesity, and food safety, emphasizing the role of food marketing.

Marion is the author of six prize-winning books: Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health, Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety, What to Eat, Why Calories Count: From Science to Politics, Eat, Drink Vote: An Illustrated Guide to Food Politics, Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda (and Winning). She blogs daily (almost) at, and tweets @marionnestle (named by Time Magazine, Science Magazine, and The Guardian as among the top ten in health and science).