Just read an article about this very thing in USA Today. I have always advocated counting calories for losing weight, but also like to say, "Count your calories and make your calories count." This is especially true when limiting your caloric intake: you have to eat healthy stuff, lots of it...just not too much.
I'm a believer in counting calories, but I also believe in a calorie budget. As long as a small unhealhy item is part of your budget, that works. I love having a big salad and then a small piece of cake. Hey, having your cake and eating it too, is great........................:)
At the very least, 90% of my intake should be healthy and full of nutrition. There will always be a reason to indulge such as holiday treats, a super craving, a party, etc. But when it comes to those unhealthy treats we all desire, moderation and portion control are key. You can always do what Mike suggests in his latest post about turning your weakness into strengths. Give yourself a treat and keep it under control (Thanks Mike).
I think it does matter how much, but the quality of the food is very important as well. As someone mentioned, there are good fats and bad fats, one can fight the adverse effects of the other and so on.
For those who do not eat breakfast, it can slow the metabolism down and then the rest of what you eat that day is more likely not to be processed very fast in your system. Moderation is good in all things, but get good quality food and eat small meals more often to keep the rate of metabolism up to burn off the excess fats.
Yes and no - I certainly agree with having things in moderation but it is not going to do you any good if you fill your day with small portions of foods that are not nutritionally beneficial. All in all, the calories may be within an individual's particular range, but that does not mean that they are receiving the nutrients that their bodies need. I definitely think it is far more important to incorporate nutrient-dense foods.
I do agree that we consume way too much in this country but the statement I use a lot is "it's not what we eat but what we digest and assimilate". Even if we eat a perfect diet, if our bodies are unable to digest the food and assimilate the nutrients then we're setting ourselves up for health problems. I believe one of the core or root issues of most health problems is poor digestion.