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NUTR 221CS Nutrition on the Net Assignment
Purpose: To give you an opportunity to critically evaluate contemporary nutrition information that is published on
the internet. Using evidence based resources on the internet to research and evaluate contemporary web-based
nutrition information will assist you in making informed decisions about nutrition related topics.
1) Select an internet article (not a peer reviewed journal) providing some type of nutrition
information. Copy and paste the article into a Word document, then convert to a PDF to be
uploaded into the D2L Assignment Folder. Be sure to provide the link for the website and date
it was retrieved from the web.
– Nutrition topics may include any area you have an interest in. Examples include childrens
nutrition, sports nutrition, weight management or specific topics such as trans fats,
omega 3 fatty acids or phytochemicals.
2) Read through the internet article and answer questions 1-6 in Part A. You do not have to retype
the question itself; just identify the question number and give your answer.
3) In your copy of the article, go through and underline 3 claims or pieces of information such as
statements that are included in the article will turn fat to muscle or it has been found that
not getting enough sleep at night can make you overweight.
4) Address each of the 3 claims or pieces of information separately and discuss whether each is
valid or not as shown in Part B. If you list a claim that you cannot find outside resources to
validate, you will need to select another claim that does in order to receive credit for the
claim. (Check with your instructor if you are not sure.)
5) Base your judgment on information from one of the following types of sources. Sources must be
published within the last 5-10 years so that the information is current.
a) Peer Reviewed Sources: You can use www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/ and key words to
search for research articles such as Journal of the American Dietetic Association, New England
Journal of Medicine, etc. Be sure to cite the reference with the name of the author(s), title of
the research article, name of Journal, year, volume number and pages.
-Once you know the citation use the MSU library homepage, Journalist
database link to find the original article. (You are usually limited to free
abstracts in pubmed or other online search engines, not the full article.)
b) Nutrition Text: Nutrition Science and Applications (Smolin & Grosvener)
– Can only be used for ONE of the claims, list page number in text used for source.
c.) Internet sources: example: http://www.NCAHF.org
– Provide the complete web address to the actual site. Be aware of sites that are
associated with specific products as they would not be considered to be a reliable internet
source. Wikepedia is another website that is not acceptable as the information is open for
anyone to edit.
6) Grading for assignment is based on the following 2 PDF files:
PDF of article used (source & date retrieved)
PDF Part A: Completed questions 1-6
Part B: 3 claims with proper sources identified and cited.
A. Guidelines for Evaluating Media Articles: Questions 1-6
(Remember: do not leave any question blank; if it does not apply write NA)
1. What is the purpose of the article? Is it to sell products or ideas and make money? or is it to present
factual information or to make a professional contribution? Do you believe it? Why?
2. What is the style of presentation? Is it educational or scientific? Are devices such as testimonials or
scare tactics used?
3. What are the qualifications of the author of the article? (i.e. educational background, training,
credentials or are they a journalist) If they have credentials do they match the area addressed in the
article? (I.e. are they an agricultural botanist commenting on weight lifting?)
4. Is the factual data in the article based on appropriate research and experiences of experts in the
field of health? Are any experts interviewed or quoted in the article and what are their
5. Is there any evidence of research supporting claims? Are there defined trials or scientific findings
reported in the article? Is the information based on scientific facts or on emotional appeal?
6. Has the information been published in professional medical and/or health journals? Are the
research and data accepted or backed by reputable professionals or organizations? If not, why?
In what other locations would you expect to find this article?
B. Guidelines for Discussing each of the 3 Claims (Pieces of Information):
Claim # 1: state the exact claim or statement from the article Example: Will lose 5 lbs in 3 days
Claim #1 validity: discuss whether the claim is valid or not and briefly explain in your own words using
information from a reliable source such as the examples listed on the previous page. Your assignment
will be evaluated for originality and points will be lost if it does not show that you used your own
words or failed to cite the quotes that you may have included in your discussion of validity.
Source: Cite the source used (using standard citing method listed on previous page). A different source
needs to be used for each claim. You can use 3 different Journal articles or a combination such as a
Journal article, the text, and an internet resource.
Use this same format for Claim #2 and Claim #3.
Short summary of how you accurate you thought the article was in terms of the nutrition topic and if
you would recommend it to a friend or relative.
SUBMIT: PDF of the original article that you evaluated.
PDF containing Part A, Part B and Conclusions
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