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Applied Nutrition
Internet Assignment 2
Read the follow material and use the internet to obtain information. Answear the questions on a seperate text document such as MS Word, Notepad or Write then send it to me as an e-mail attachment at

Assignment Two
The Mediterranean Diet

There is an incredible supply of information available to you through the Internet. Some of it is reliable, current, and relevant. Some of it is garbage. It's your job to distinguish the difference.

Fortunately there are people out there in cyberspace, many times experts in their fields, who cruise the Internet, find the best, most useful, Websites, and put them all together in a subject directory for other people to use. 

One example of this is The Food and Nutrition Information Center , a health information organisation dedicated to providing credible information, community, and services. They pride themselves in providing health news for the public, medical news for physicians, up-to-date medical reference content databases, and much more.
Let's look for mediterranean diet. Type your search words in the "Simplek Search" box on the FNIC Databases The data base is found on the write of the page
Simple Search: Search by Keyword
Your results will look something like this.

Click on a few of these and see what they have to say. Most of them are news articles, quoting reliable-sounding studies coming from highly respected medical journals. The authors are often health and medical journalists.


Unfortunately, details about research or trials is not given. One way to check on the reliability of the article is to search again in Medline, using any names mentioned in the article, or place of the study, or any other key terms. 
Question One
 Briefly provide  some of these details for one of the articles you found.

As an example, I found an article that claims that a Mediterranean diet may help control diabetes. I can search Medline at ( ) for the phrase 'mediterranean diet', plus the term diabetes
The Medline search engine wants phrases entered with surrounding quotation marks. Be sure to use the double quotes: "mediterranean diet". Besides the phrase, I want to look for the word "diabetes". This is what my search strategy will look like:

"mediterranean diet" diabetes

I don't have to worry about capitalization, or the Boolean AND.

Medline search screen

And here is one of the first items on my result list. By clicking on one of the author names, I can see a detailed summary of the article. 

Question Two:
Write a citation for any article in Medline that supports (or contradicts) the article you found in FNIC. Remember how we write citations:

apa citation format

And for multiple authors, we list all their last names and first initials. Each are divided by a comma, except for the last one, which comes after an ampersand:

Cicconetti P., Tafaro L., Tedeschi G., Tombolillo M.T., & Marigliano V.

Question Three:
Explain how this article supports the FNIC article. (Or how it contradicts the My WebMD article.)

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Let's look at another subject-specific site, the Nutrition Analysis Tool  from the University of Illinois.( )  Select Nats Var 2 from the right hand list. This brings up a site that lets you enter personal information about your age, gender, and the individual items of food that you've had to eat (for today or yesterday or last week), and then will analyze these foods for their nutrient content: calories, protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, calcium, iron, sodium, and many more nutrients.
For each food that you enter, you'll be given a list of choices from the NAT database, with your food listed in several varieties (cooked, raw, juice, babyfood). Pick the one closest to what you ate, then pick the amount closest to what you ate. You'll end up with a list like this (with different food, of course):
When you've entered in the food you ate for one complete day, click on Analyze Foods. From the Analysis Results Screen, answer these questions:
Qusetion Four:
4a)What percent of the Vitamin C requirement did you fulfill?

4b)What percent of the protein requirement?

4c)What percent of the saturated fat requirement did you fulfill?

4d)  What percent of the Vitamin A requirement?

You can save this table to a disk and add to it to keep track of your meals over the next week. Follow the directions on how to save.

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Another online resource for health information is the Nutrition Information & Resource Center  website from Pen State University.(  This site is a rating and review guide that attempts to solve the two major problems Web users have when seeking nutrition information: how to quickly find information best suited to their needs and whether to trust the information they find there. Pen sate Nutrition Information & Resource Center  tries to help you sort through the large volume of nutrition information on the Internet and find accurate, useful nutrition information you can trust. 

Websites are reviewed by Pen State  nutritionists, who apply rating and evaluation criteria based on currency and accuracy (10 points), depth of information (7 points), ease of use (5 points) and how often the site is updated (3 points), for 25 total possible points. 

If you click on the General Nutrition Information in the menu on the left, you'll next see a list of three databases dealing with nutrition websites .  Do a key word search for something you find interesting.

 Scroll down through the list until you find a suitable reference. Click on it, and browse through their site.
Question Five:
Describe the site. Be sure to include the name of the site, the sponsor of the site, the rating assigned by Pen State, and then your opinion of the site. Was it easy to navigate? Did you get lost or run into broken links? Was the information useful? Was it current? Was there an obvious date that the information was posted? And finally, do you agree with the rating that Tufts gave them?

road sign
We have looked at three Internet sources of health-related information:
  • FNIC a Website specializing in medical news designed for the consumer and the professional.
  • The Nutrition Analysis Tool, maintained by the University of Illinois, giving you a tool to create detailed analyses of the food you eat, and 
  • Nutrition Information & Resource Center from Pen sate University, which uses a rating system to analyze nutrition websites.
There are many, many health-specific Internet sources available, some geared for the consumer, and others for the healthcare professional. Some come from educational institutions, some from commercial institutions. As the user, you need to determine how reliable the information is.

 We have also revisited Medline, which is probably the most reliable source of medical information available. 

You've also been introduced to the way Medline searches for phrases: 

  • Enclose the phrase in double quotes:     "mediterranean diet"
Hopefully, you now have a way to check on any health information that comes your way. The article abstract in Medline will give you the actual facts of the study, instead of the grandiose claims.


You've almost finished another Applied Nutrition assignment. Now comes that very important part:

Make sure you add your  name. I.D.,  and your e-mail address to your answears , save a copy of your work  on disk then   send your answears to me as an  attachment   to an e-mail   my e-mail address is:

Address of this page:
For questions or comments, please send e-mail to
Barry Brazier at
Last updated on August 24, 2002.

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