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The Nutrition Source


The Nutrition Source

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The Harvard School of Public Health provides this extensive site on nutrition information. Included in that information are specific pages on, proteins, carbohydrates, fats and cholesterol, fiber the food pyramid, exercise, and type 2 diabetes. The site covers most aspects of nutritional information.
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Material Type: Reference Material
Technical Format: HTML/Text
Date Added to MERLOT: May 17, 2006
Date Modified in MERLOT: October 28, 2015
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Submitter: Marty Zahn


  • Reviewed by members of Editorial board for inclusion in MERLOT.
    Editor Review
    Very good quality; in queue to be peer reviewed
    avg: 5 rating
  • User review 4.33 average rating
  • User Rating: 4.33 user rating
  • Discussion (3 Comments)
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Primary Audience: High School, College General Ed
Mobile Compatibility: Not specified at this time
Language: English
Cost Involved: no
Source Code Available: no
Accessibility Information Available: no
Creative Commons: unsure


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Discussion for The Nutrition Source

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Avatar for James Gerber
4 years ago

James Gerber (Faculty)

I have used this site for over ten years for required readings in my post-baccalaurate nutrition courses for professional and graduate students. The content is especially thorough regarding evidence-based recommendations on dietary macronutrients (carbs, protein, fats) as part of a healthy diet. Also strong are sections on body weight, salt, and beverages. Vitamins and minerals are less thoroughly covered (for those I use the Linus Pauling Micronutrient Information center at

The database is regularly updated and expanded, most recently a separate linked site on obesity prevention has been developed at

This resource should be categorized under Health Sciences Preventive Medicine and Nutrition as well.

Technical Remarks:

The database is regularly updated and expanded. For that reason, any learning activities or exam questions based on the content may need to be revised if the content changes.

Time spent reviewing site: I have used this site for years
Used in course

Avatar for Patsy Beffa-Negrini
6 years ago

Patsy Beffa-Negrini (Faculty)

The Nutrition Source, an extensive website from the Harvard School of Public Heath, covers current topics in public health nutrition for the lay audience. It would make a useful supplement for students studying introductory nutrition and for any nutrition course that asks students to keep abreast of current controversies in nutrition.

Asking students to compare the Harvard School of Public Health's "Healthy Eating Pyramid" with the U.S.D.A.'s Food Guide Pyramid ( would make an engaging critical-thinking activity.

There is also a helpful PDF that shows the teaspoons of sugar in certain beverages . In my online courses, I have an assignment where I ask students to measure out the teaspoons of sugar in a food/beverage, put that into a container, and then take a digital photo of the food next to the container with the sugar. They then upload the photo to the asynchronous discussion board to begin a conversation on the amount of sugar in foods and beverages. This handout will make a useful addition to this exercise.

There are also recipes on this site and some are for quantity food service. Not many introductory nutrition texts cover recipes and cooking, so this section of The Nutrition Source website can be highly useful. So many people need help with cooking and easy, nutritious recipe ideas.

There is information about evaluating nutrition information in the media, which would be useful for students to read. Since this is a web-based material, it would be ideal if The Nutrition Source expanded this page to include "evaluating online nutrition information," as well.

Technical Remarks:

The Nutrition Source website is easy to navigate. There is a search function, which is extremely important on such a large website. The site doesn't require Flash or Java.

Time spent reviewing site: 30 minutes

Avatar for Thomas Rimmer
8 years ago

Thomas Rimmer (Faculty)

This site has a wealth of nutritional information, conveniently arranged and seemingly very thorough. Although it seems to be consumer-oriented at first glance, one can go much deeper on each topic by choosing to read the full articles, all of which are fully referenced. Instead of just giving the latest advice on nutritional issues, the epidemiology of nutritional science is stressed so that the uncertainties are not glossed over. The site is entirely text-based, though with attrative illustrations, so that each part loads rapidly without any delays.
Time spent reviewing site: 30 minutes