This page compiles a list of scientists, laypersons, and organizations who are interested in caloric density as a principle in nutrition and weight loss.
Please take a look at the forum if you are looking for the online message board.
I want to make it clear that I have no affiliation with any of these people and have never met them or contacted them in any way. Most of these people sell commercial products related to nutrition or weight loss. I personally have confidence in your ability to lose weight and improve your health by gaining a basic understanding of caloric density and making simple changes. You do not need a nutritional science degree or extensive knowledge of biochemistry and physiology. However, I have no problem with people selling and marketing information, and I do think that some people are helped by more intensive and structured diet programs, particularly if they have serious health problems or have failed to achieve success without outside help. Caveat emptor.
1) Jeff Novick MS, RD
Jeff Novick is a dietitian and nutritionist who was previously the director of nutrition at the Pritikin Center in Aventura, Florida. His personal website is here. He is known for giving lectures on nutrition and sells DVDs on his website including some specifically on caloric density. He has a dynamic and charismatic style. He supports a vegan diet and is associated with Dr. John McDougall.
Here is a video by Jeff Novick discussing caloric density:
In this video, Jeff compares various foods and explains that the proportion of macronutrients is overwhelmed by other factors such as fiber and water content:
2) Robert Pritikin BS
Robert Pritikin is an advocate of using the principle of caloric density to improve diet and managing various medical conditions. In his book, "The Pritikin Principle: The Calorie Density Solution", he describes this principle simplistically and extensively and provides various tables. In fact, this is the source of some of the caloric density data on this website. He discusses the importance of caloric density on his website and some of the supportive studies here.
3) Nathan Pritikin
The father of Robert Pritikin. He is the originator of the Pritikin diet and developed the Pritikin Longevity Center in Florida in 1975 which is now run by his son. His diet was high in whole grains and dietary fiber, low in cholesterol, and very low in fats with fewer than 10% of calories from fats.
Various clinical studies have been done on the Pritikin Program which has been shown to decrease BMI, blood pressure, LDL, and serum glucose (31). The Pritikin program was approved by Medicare for cardiac rehab and by CMS (29, 30). There are anecdotal benefits in coronary artery disease (32).
Nathan unfortunately committed suicide, but his own heart at autopsy had only minimal atherosclerosis (33).
Here is a video advertising the Pritikin Longevity Center
4) Barbara Rolls, PhD
Barbara Rolls is a nutritional scientist who has rebranded caloric density as "volumetrics" and has published many studies on the subject cited in my evidence section and has written many books. She describes the principle of caloric density extensively in "Volumetrics Weight-Control Plan: Feel Full on Fewer Calories." She is a faculty member at Penn State University and has held various appointments and received various prestigious awards over the years.
In this study, Dr. Rolls discusses volumetrics and also extolls the benefits of protein and fiber and feels that this approach effectively involves eating more fruits and vegetables:
5) Julia Ello-Martin
Julia Ello-Martin is another professor at Penn State and is closely associated with Dr. Barbara Rolls. Her research is also cited in my evidence section (may studies co-authored with Dr. Rolls). She has emphasized the importance of the water content of foods and portion size in her research.
"Water-rich foods allow you to eat satisfying portions while still providing few calories,"
- Ello-Martin in Women's Health magazine
6) The Mayo Clinic
The Mayo Clinic website has numerous articles on nutrition including several that discuss caloric density such as this one. They discuss water, fiber, and fat content as the most important contributors to caloric density. Their nutrition & healthy eating editors are Donal Hensrud, M.D., Jennifer Nelson R.D., and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D. Dr. Hensrud believes that an effective weight loss regimen can begin with a 15 minutes clinician office visit (38) and also notes the importance of cardiovascular exercise (39).
The Mayo Clinic also authors several cookbooks geared towards general nutrition or specific medical conditions.
The following is a quote from a Mayo Clinic nutritional summit (37) discussing the causes of increasing obesity in American society.
"The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn, discussed dietary factors identified in the medical literature that contribute to weight gain, including increased portion size, dining out at restaurants, and consuming energy-dense foods such as refined carbohydrates, snacks, and soft drinks."
7) Shereen Lehman, MS
Shereen Lehman is a nutritionist and writes for about.com. For instance, she writes about caloric density here. She recommends supplementing a good diet with regular exercise and keeping a food diary. She coauthored the book "Superfoods for Dummies." She has youtube channel and makes various videos about about evidence based nutrition.
In this video, she discusses weight loss. She talks about fad diet and the importance of calorie intake and patience:
8) Dr. Howard Eisenson, MD
Dr. Howard Eisenson is a family practice physician who promotes a healthy diet and exercise and discusses caloric density here at abc.com. He encourages slow website and incorporating principles of healthy eating that can be incorporated into our normal lives including eating at restaurants. He also helps to manage the Duke Diet and Fitness Center, a residential lifestyle facility.
He discusses the program briefly here:
9) The British Nutrition Foundation.
Caloric density is discussed here. They give advice such as eating foods with high water content, eating more vegetables, switching to brown rice and whole grain wheat products, choosing lean meats, avoiding oils and butter, and using fruit for desert.
10) The Livestrong foundation: discussed here by Michele Turcotte.
11) Corrina Rachel
Corrina Rachel is a holistic health coach and jazz singer who lives in Austin Texas. She has a broad view of nutrition with caloric density being only one of many factors.
She discusses caloric density extensively here and gives many examples.
12) Chris Randall
Chris Randall is a raw food advocate who writes a blog on raw food dieting here. Chris lost 130 pounds on his diet and experienced various improvements in his health. He offers diet coaching services. He discusses caloric density in a you tube video on his raw food diet here.
13) Brenda Watson
Brenda Watson markets the fiber 35 diet which endorses eating food high in fiber and low in caloric density. She also promotes herself as an expert in digestive health.
14) The Center for Disease Control (CDC)
The CD published a brief article on caloric density and how to apply it to weight management. They discuss how to calculate caloric density from product labels.
15) Nutrition Action
Nutrition Action manages a website (www.nutritionaction.com) and a newsletter and advocates a healthy diet. Caloric density is discussed here.
16) The Okinawa Diet
This diet is based on the empirical longevity of the population living in Okinawa, Japan. It is promoted by Dr. Bradley J Willcox, M.D. who was an investigator in the famous Okinawa Centenarian Study. It emphasizes caloric density:
"The major concept behind the Okinawa Diet healthy weight management philosophy is the principle of caloric density. Simply put--it's the amount of calories per gram of food. Eat more food with a lower caloric density and less food with a higher caloric density. The net result is eating more food with fewer calories." (source)
I couldn't have said it better myself
17) Bob LeFavi
Bob LeFavi is a professor of Health Sciences at Armstrong Atlantic State University and writes about caloric density here. He is also an avid CrossFitter and competes in the master's division
"So, it seems relatively simple, right? Begin eating more foods at the lower end of the caloric density scale and you can eat more food for fewer calories while shutting off your hunger pangs"
18) Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD
Kathleen Zelman writes for WebMD and discusses caloric density here. She was formerly the national spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association and has significant media experience.
"It may sound like weird science, but 'energy density' is nothing more than the calories in a portion of food. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, and cooked grains are examples of low-energy-density foods that give you plenty of water and fiber for very few calories."
The wisegeek website discusses caloric density beautifully here. They display pictures of different amounts of different foods constituting 200 calories here. The same concept is described in a video format:
20) Dr. Robert Arnot discusses the idea of calorie density using the concept of the "satiety index" in his book "Dr. Bob Arnot's Revolutionary Weight Control Program"
His book can be found on amazon here.