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DBH 9019: Intervention Design

Research course topics and find help for assignments

This resource guide pulls together a variety of sources you may want to consult if you are conducting food and nutrition research, or if you are advising others on the subject.

Icons can help you to identify resources that are

  Easy to read

  Available in Spanish

 Available in other languages

Four Key Resources

Research Resources for Professionals or Scholars

Consumer Health Resources for Nutrtion

Nutrition and Foods

  •  This site from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agricultural Library (NAL) provides easy access to consumer information on nutrition, including What’s In Food? and the latest, Nutrition and Health Issues. Its purpose is the promotion of overall health through healthy lifestyle choices.  Available in Spanish
  • is a user-friendly, interactive web site for menu planning, diet assessments and comparisons, and specific food information from the USDA.  Available in Spanish.
  • SuperTracker.  SuperTracker is a user-friendly suite of tools offered by the USDA that help users set and track nutrition and physical activity goals. Users can create a personalized profile, save their favorite foods, track their physical activity, and view reports on the goal progress. A tutorial is provided for those who are new to this tool or need a review.
  • Fruit and Veggies More Matters. Not only is this site appealing because of its fresh and colorful design, it’s full of good information too. The site is a collaboration between many organizations with an interest in promoting the consumption of fruits and vegetables. As an example, the Plate Makeover section provides tips on healthy makeovers for over 45 typical meals, and visitors to the site can get involved by joining in the MyPlate challenge.
  • Know What You Eat.  While the site includes advertising, it also offers several useful science-based tools for anyone interested in analyzing and using nutritional data. Dieters can track their daily food intake, use charts to learn where foods rank on a nutritional scale or the glycemic index, and enter recipe ingredients to calculate nutrients and calories by the serving. Information topics include basic nutrition facts, calories in foods, reading food labels, and more.
  • NetWellness - Diet and Nutrition Section.  History, religion, culture, friends, family and the environment all influence our food choices. NetWellness can help you base these food choices on nutrition and health. Included are sections on staying healthy, nutrition information for people with specific diseases and conditions, and links to nutrition information by age, ethnicity, and sex.
  • Nutrition and Healthy Eating.  This Mayo Clinic site provides a wealth of information on how to adopt a healthy diet to fit your lifestyle; how to prepare foods using healthy cooking techniques; and how to create and use healthy menus and shopping strategies. Use the “in-depth” tab to obtain more specific information.
  • It's About Eating Right.  The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (previously the American Dietetic Association) offers eating tips and ways to become healthier, how to maintain your health, and how to help manage various diseases through proper nutrition. The Diseases, Allergies, and Health Conditions section covers nutrition for special conditions such as allergies, food intolerences, and other issues. Some materials are available in Chinese and Spanish.  Multicultural resource
  • Diet and Disease Resources.  This well-designed section of the USDA web site focuses on diets and nutrition for specific diseases and disorders, including allergies and food sensitivities, AIDS/HIV, cancer, diabetes, digestive diseases and disorders, eating disorders, heart disease, and osteoporosis. Links provide easy access to additional resources for each health condition.
  • Kids Eat Right.  Also from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, this site provides scientifically-based health and nutrition information for children of all ages, from babies to teens. Check out the site for great videos, tips, and
    timely topics.
  • It's About Eating Right:  Women's Health.  Focusing on nutritional information for women of all ages, this section from the site covers vital nutrition needs for various stages of a woman’s life and maintaining wellness, such as Pregnancy, Breast Feeding, Menopause, Bone and Heart Health.
  • Healthy Eating, Healthy Living:  Food and Nutrition Handouts.  These easy-to-read handouts and flip chart materials from the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) are designed to communicate positive
    nutrition and lifestyle habits to immigrants and refugees. They include culturally relevant information on healthy eating for adults, children, and infants, as well as food safety tips and tips for smart food shopping. English and Spanish samples are listed, and the PDFs are available in 15 additional languages at the third link below.
  • Eating Well as You Get Older.  From NIHSeniorHealth, this easy-to-navigate site for seniors provides tips on how to eat healthy to stay healthy. Videos on choosing nutrient-rich foods and eating well to maintain a healthy lifestyle are included.

Fitness and Physical Activity

  • Active at Any Size.  From WIN, the Weight-control Information Network, this site provides positive, helpful information on exercise for larger people. It includes tips for exercising safely, getting past barriers, questions to ask when choosing a gym or fitness facility, and much more. Printable food and activity trackers and links to outside resources make this a very useful site.
  • Physical Activity Routines.  This handy table helps people take the first step on the road to fitness.
  • Exercise Counts.  Find the calories burned in a workout or activity with this calculator from the American Cancer Society (ACS). Included are links to a Target Heart Rate Calculator as well as a tool for calculating the calories
    you need to eat to maintain your weight or lose weight based on your activity level.
  • Exercise and Physical Activity.  This Health Topic page from MedlinePlus includes a wealth of information about becoming more physically active. The Spanish and multilingual links are just one of the reasons to visit this page; there is something for everyone in the collection of links and resources. 
  • Start Walking Now Program.  This program from the American Heart Association (AHA) offers information and interactive tools to get people started on their way to heart health. Users can set up a secure, free account to use online tracker tools, find walking paths and to connect with other walkers around the country.
  • Exercise and Physical Activity:  Your Everyday Guide.  From the NIA, this beautifully illustrated guide will
    inspire just about everyone to add activity to their lives and enjoy it at the same time.
  • Exercise and Fitness for People with Disabilities.  Physical activity is good for everyone, but it can be
    especially challenging for people with disabilities. The National Center on Physical Activity and Disability (NCPAD) provides a wide variety of information and videos on maintaining health through exercise for disabled people of all ages.


Healthy Living Resources with Nutrition Information

  • Tips for a Safe and Healthy Life.    Key tips about nutrition and weight, physical activity, disease and injury prevention, stress management, and medical care are provided in English and Spanish by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).    
  • Quick Guide to Healthy Living.  This section of the web site is a great starting point for learning about healthy living. Each of these printable topics starts with the basics and then continues with an action plan. 
  • Staying Healthy.  The materials in this great collection from Healthy Roads Media are easy-to-understand, in multiple languages and formats, and focus on helping people stay healthy.  
  • Healthy Living.  The Cleveland Clinic offers a great selection of topics for health, wellness, and disease prevention on this site. Check out the Let’s Move It! mobile app, a fun way to meet fitness goals. Other offerings not found elsewhere include several video podcasts and an online learning center about specific diseases, conditions, and treatments.

Resources collected from Finding Health and Wellness @ the Library:  A Consumer Health Toolkit for Library Staff (2nd Edition), created through a partnership between the California State Library and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Pacific Southwest Region.

MeSH Terms for Nutrition Research

When searching databases on health-related topics, you can make your search more productive by using MeSH terms.  

MeSH stands for Medical Subject Headings, and they are the National Library of Medicine's controlled vocabulary for searching.  MeSH consists of sets of terms that allows you to search at various levels of specificity.  They range from the very general, such as diseases, to the very specific, like palatal neoplasms.

 It may help to think of the MeSH as a giant medical thesaurus.  When you search using a MeSH term, you not only search those particular words, but any concepts that have been related to this term by the National Library of Medicine.  This includes synonyms, subtopics, and supplementary concepts.  There is a lot of search power in a MeSH term!

When searching topics related to nutrition, the following MeSH subject headings may be useful:

Term Definition Year Introduced
Nutritional Sciences The study of NUTRITION PROCESSES as well as the components of food, their actions, interaction, and balance in relation to health and disease 2007
Child Nutrition Sciences The study of NUTRITION PROCESSES as well as the components of food, their actions, interaction, and balance in relation to health and disease of children, infants or adolescents 2007
Nutrition Assessment Evaluation and measurement of nutritional variables in order to assess the level of nutrition or the NUTRITIONAL STATUS of the individual. NUTRITION SURVEYS may be used in making the assessment 1990
Nutrition Therapy Improving health status of an individual by adjusting the quantities, qualities, and methods of nutrient intake 2004
Nutrition Surveys A systematic collection of factual data pertaining to the nutritional status of a human population within a given geographic area. Data from these surveys are used in preparing NUTRITION ASSESSMENTS  
Nutrition Processes Biological actions and events that constitute the steps by which living organisms take in and assimilate NUTRIENTS. 2007
Nutrition Policy Governmental guidelines and objectives pertaining to public food supply and nutrition including recommendations for healthy diet and changes in food habits to ensure healthy diet. 1995
Nutrition Disorders Disorders caused by nutritional imbalance, either overnutrition or undernutrition.  
Nutritive Value An indication of the contribution of a food to the nutrient content of the diet. This value depends on the quantity of a food which is digested and absorbed and the amounts of the essential nutrients (protein, fat, carbohydrate, minerals, vitamins) which it contains. This value can be affected by soil and growing conditions, handling and storage, and processing. 1979
Nutritional Requirements The amounts of various substances in food needed by an organism to sustain healthy life. 1984
Nutritional Status State of the body in relation to the consumption and utilization of nutrients. 1987
Food Labeling Use of written, printed, or graphic materials upon or accompanying a food or its container or wrapper. The concept includes ingredients, nutritional value, directions, warnings, and other relevant information. 1974
What's up with the Year Introduced?  Well, that tells you that you can use that MeSH heading to retrieve citations as far back as the date introduced.  Now, certainly information on a topic exists long before the Year Introduced, but it wasn't indexed using that subject until the Year Introduced.  If you're looking for older information on a MeSH topic, poke around in an article's record for something called Previous Indexing, which tells you what the subject heading for an item was in its pre-MeSH days.

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