Nutrition Discussion Needed TODAY!! and 3 Replies!

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The number of nutrition-related websites seems infinite. Unfortunately, determining the credibility of these websites is a challenge. Fortunately, there are criteria that you can use to evaluate the credibility of a website. In this module we begin to develop and refine those skills.

Website review:

During Week 3, you will search the internet and choose a website for review that is designed to increase your understanding and appreciation for a nutrition-related health concern (for example, diabetes, high cholesterol, irritable bowel, etc.). Submit your website review by the end of Week 3.

During week 4, read your classmates’ website reviews posted during Week 3. Respond to and critique at least four of your classmates’ reviews and the responses added by your classmates.

Remember that each review was carefully prepared and that all your comments should be well-written and thoughtful. Give your opinion courteously and back it up with references.

Check out these criteria for evaluating websites and follow the format given below:

Scientific journals contain articles that have been reviewed by the authors’ qualified peers to ensure reliability. Articles in news publications often are not as reliable. The same holds true for articles or books from the popular press, which may present a particular author’s point of view, which may not be valid or defensible. It is important to read information with a critical eye!

Websites should be approached critically as well. If you were to receive a health newsletter in the mail you would probably ask yourself a few questions before trusting its content and applying what you read to your lifestyle. For example, you would probably look differently at a newsletter from a prestigious medical college than one from a nutrition supplement outlet. It’s equally important to check the credibility and credentials of websites. When browsing the Internet for this website review activity, as part of your research on your final project, or for your own information, you should answer these questions in order to critique websites:

  1. WHOSE owns the site? Is it connected with a college, museum, textbook publisher, retail store, business group, special interest group or an individual?
  2. WHAT is the site’s purpose? Is it to provide educational resources, foster communication among scientists, market a product, attract votes, increase political clout, or generate support for a special interest group? If the site is sponsored by a special interest group, is that made clear from the outset?
  3. HOW is the site listed? Did you find it through the search of a general topic? Was it linked through a reputable organization? In other words, does the particular site come with a set of references and reliable antecedents?
  4. WHO is likely to use the site? Who appears to be the target audience based on vocabulary used, level of education assumed or types of graphics, charts and links supplied? For example, is it geared toward kids, college students, consumers, professional scientists, or organic consumers?
  5. WHEN was the site copyrighted and when was it last updated? At the bottom of most websites, you can find the copyright date and often a note of when it was last updated. This will give a sense of how well the site is maintained, how current the information is and how reliable the links will be.
  6. WHAT is your opinion? In your presentation to the class for this assignment, be sure to answer all of the questions listed. Also, include a section on your opinion of the website and what information you learned by reading and reviewing the site. Do you recommend it? Did you learn a good deal? What was the best feature?

Sample Discussion Entry

Sample Submission for Week 3’s Discussion – Review a Nutrition Website:

Site Address: ChooseMyPlate www.choosemyplate.govopens in a new window

Whose Site: is a government supported website designed to promote and inform consumers about the newly adapted changes to MyPyramid. It is produced by the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion which is part of the United States Department of Agriculture.

It provides resources sites related to:

What: This site is clearly designed for the consumer as well as the professional. It provides easy availability of an amazing number of scientific databases on human nutrition, nutritional needs and disease prevention information. In addition, it has a personalized nutrition “trackers” used to assess food intake and a physical activity “trackers” to determine Physical Activity status. The hundreds (if not thousands) of scientific studies as well as the individualized resources are available at the click of a mouse! Oh, how could I forget to mention the posters and other graphics that can be downloaded for education purposes. Since it is a product of the government, there are not any duplication or copyright issues!! A true “wealth of information and resources”!!

How: This website is displayed as part of the USDA website. There is a direct link to ChooseMyPlate on the USDA home page. ChooseMyPlate was released in January 2011. Since then, numerous nutrition articles and websites, which previously listed My Pyramid as a resource now reference ChooseMyPlate .

Who: This web page seems designed for consumers, professionals (dietitians, teachers, doctors, nurses, etc.) and the media.

When: The last date noted on the “Choose MyPlate’ site was 3/14/2012.

Opinion: I have found this to be a very useful resource! MyPyramid has always been confusing to me but this seems to answer many of my existing questions! I really liked being able to put my personal information into the “tracker” to find out exactly HOW MANY calories I should be consuming and how much food it makes up! I truly did not understand the old MyPyramid. It was far too confusing and I never knew what “a serving” was. Personally, a serving of pasta for me was about 3 cups! The development of ‘MyPlate’ has taken much of the guesswork out of controlling my calories!

How to Respond to Your Classmates’ Website Reviews

Make a general observation about the review: For example, “Judging from the website, the data to support the “new” ChooseMyPlate seems to follow many recommendations from organizations such as the American Dietetic Association, the American Medical Association and the Center for Disease Control. Each of these organizations make up a reputable portion of the nutritional studies conducted on a very regular basis! The supportive data for this site appears to be well regulated, objective and held to high ethical standards (as stated by the USDA).”

Ask a question of the reviewer or comment on what they have written: For example, “Did you put in a variety of “activity amounts” to see if different caloric recommendations were suggested?”

Make your own observations: For example, ” I reviewed a portion of the Dietary Guidelines document. First of all, I did not realized there was an 112 page document providing very specific guidelines for the nutritional needs of Americans! I found the information pertaining to recommended types of fat and their health benefits. Not only did it list the types of foods “rich” in these fats, it also listed the amount I should be striving for on a weekly basis.”

Speculate and give your opinion: For example, “I liked the site, but would have like to have links for sites other than government based sites. It seems the government stands alone in their ‘Additional Links’ listing. A broader list of affiliate websites would have provided more of an unbiased approach to their overall nutrition message.”

Please post your review by the end of week 3, and remember to respond to at least three (3) of your classmates’ reviews by the end of week 4.




WHOSE SITE: This site was founded by the –


American Heart Association

The Clinton Foundation

& The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation


WHAT: This sites purpose is to make people more aware about childhood obesity. The Alliance which was founded by the American Heart Association, started looking at the childhood obesity rates in schools first. The Healthy Schools Program was created in 2006 and launched in 231 schools in 13 states. It is used to prevent childhood obesity and maintain healthier foods throughout schools. They didn’t just stop there; they also went to companies that influence foods students eat and drink. For example, there has been a 90% reduction in beverage calories shipped to school during the 2004-2010 school years. The Alliance also turned to healthcare systems. They also started the Healthier Generation Benefit which interacts with more than 56,000 doctors and registered dietitians to prevent childhood obesity. 


HOW: I wanted to research childhood obesity, so I typed “Childhood obesity” in google and this is one of the websites that came up.


WHO: This website is designed for healthcare workers, medical assistants, doctors and the ordinary person who wants to support the fight against childhood obesity.


WHEN: The last news event that was posted on this website was September 30th, 2016.


OPINION: I have found this website to be very beneficial and knowledgable to those who want to help support the fight against childhood obesity. I like how this website allows you to join in on the movement and donate to support childhood health. I feel like this website gives a lot of good ideas and puts plans in motion in order to provide good health for children.




1.    Whose: The website is ran under the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, it was created in 2001.


It also provides links to:


Centers For Disease Control and Prevention:


Center for Human Nutrition, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center:




2.    What is the site’s purpose? The purpose of this site is to help people understand the importance of nutrition and how eating a healthy diet leads to better health. The website was created for educational purposes, mainly because of nutrition misinformation in our expanding media culture. This site is not sponsored and does not accept any advertising nor does it endorse any product.  




3.    How is the site listed?  I did find this through a general topic. I was looking for a website which focused on the health concerns and nutrition facts on cholesterol, when I Googled for nutrition on cholesterol, this site came up among many others, but when visited the site I saw that it focused more on a balanced diet. 




4.    Who is likely to use the site?  On the website it states that clinicians, health professionals, journalists, and the general public can use this site. From my understanding this site is very easy to understand, the information given isn’t too complex for anyone to comprehend. It also provides a chart, which is easy to understand




  1. When was the site copyrighted and when was it last updated? Copyright © 2016 The President and Fellows of Harvard College




  1. What is your opinion?  This website is a helpful site, I wouldn’t say its filled with information, but I can say, you can learn a lot from it. The site puts emphasis on what a quality diet should look like. The nutrition experts at Harvard School of Public Health created the healthy eating plate. The healthy eating plate was designed to show what a healthy balanced meal should look like. I would definitely recommend this site because it has topics on how to prevent cardiovascular disease and diabetes. It also talks about how and the ways one can keep a healthy weight.



Site Address: Calorie Count

Whose Site: The website was developed by Erik Fantasia and Igor Lebovic in 2003. The two are aerospace engineers. The website was bought in 2006 by which is a subsidiary of The New York Times. 

What: The website is a free online interactive resource for people, enthusiasts and experts, to discuss dietary and physical goals. Its objective is to create an open forum for its community. The website offers various free resources. Once a client signs up for an account they can keep track of their daily intakes, workout regiments, get feedback and use a feature called Calorie Count that offers the nutritional facts of over 250,000 food items. It has a membership of 4,000,000 and also allows them to document their improvement in their personal account and blog any questions or success they have through an open blog forum.   

How: I found the site through Google. I searched for top ten nutritional websites. The website is an affiliate of and has been publicized in morning news shows. There is an app for Calorie Count which is useful for portable devices when making food decisions on the go. The app is free and can be easily found in a search.          

 Who: The target audience is the nutritional community at large, as well as people looking to make dietary changes and seeking information about food products. Although, I did notice on their home page a press clipping that it appeared on Working Mother.        

When: The website was launched in 2003 by Erik Fantasia and Igor Lebovic, and then in 2006 was purchased by, as mentioned earlier. I couldn’t find when the website was last updated. I checked in several areas on the website with no luck, it was a little disconcerting.        

Opinion: The pros would have to be the available resources they offer such as coaching, being able to set up daily routines setting up goals and being able to communicate with experts or people in the online community. As far as cons go, after reading the privacy policy the website disclaims that any experts or professionals are participants and are not verified or researched by them, which is strange. Another con is that it is owned by and they have let marketers watch what people are searching and will give them suggestions regarding purchases, in other words “pop-up ads”. In my opinion the website does have its downside, but is no different than social media sites and millions maybe more are on them. If I were looking to make a change in my diet, I would give Calorie Count a try.

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