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Nutrition & Food Studies

Resources for research on diet, dietetics, nutrients, food science

Evidence Based Resources

Evidence Analysis Library Projects and guidelines of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

eLENA - Library of Evidence for Nutrition Actions WHO online library of evidence-based nutrition interventions

USDA Nutrition Evidence Systematic Review Conducts systematic reviews to inform Federal nutrition policy and programs

  • National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey examines a nationally representative sample of about 5,000 persons each year and findings will be used to determine the prevalence of major diseases and risk factors for diseases. Information will be used to assess nutritional status and its association with health promotion and disease prevention.
  • Ag Data Commons Through the Ag Data Commons, the USDA National Agricultural Library (NAL) provides services to make USDA funded research data systems and data products Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR). 
  • Food Access Research Atlas  USDA provides food access information tied to census data
  • Food Environment Atlas  USDA compiles food environment factors, such as store/restaurant proximity, food prices, food and nutrition assistance programs, and community characteristics
  • ERS/USDA Data Products List of data sets on a variety of topics produced by the Economic Research Service (ERS) of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
  • Food Surveys Research Group of USDA  Includes data tables for What We Eat in America (WWEIA), nutrient content search tool, and more
  • FoodData Central  from USDA an integrated data system that provides expanded nutrient profile data and links to related agricultural and experimental research.
  • What we eat in America  dietary intake interview component of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)
  • State of Childhood Obesity.Robert Wood Johnson provides interactive interface with the latest data
  • Global Health Data Exchange: Nutrition The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is an independent global health research center at the University of Washington. The Global Health Data Exchange (GHDx) is a data catalog created and supported by IHME.

EBM Pyramid

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Produced by Jan Glover, David Izzo, Karen Odato and Lei Wang.

Systematic reviews ask a specific clinical question, perform a comprehensive literature search, eliminate the poorly done studies and attempt to make practice recommendations based on the well-done studies. A meta-analysis is a systematic review that combines all the results of all the studies into a single statistical analysis of results.

Critically-appraised individual articles evaluate and synopsize individual research studies, while critically-appraised topics evaluate and synthesize multiple research studies.

Case control studies looks at two groups retrospectively--one with the condition and one without-- to determine causes and natural history. Cohort studies are longitudinal studies that follow two groups (a control group and a group the condition of intervention of interest) over time. Randomized controlled double blind studies are the gold standard for medical evidence.


Search using PICO: this is a template to formulate a clinical question

  • Patient, Population or Problem
    • What are the characteristics of the patient or population?
    • What is the condition or disease you are interested in?
  • Intervention or exposure
    • What do you want to do with this patient (e.g. treat, diagnose, observe)?
  • Comparison
    • What is the alternative to the intervention (e.g. placebo, different drug, surgery)?
  • Outcome
    • What are the relevant outcomes (e.g. morbidity, death, complications)?


Anatomy of PICO  from Duke's Introduction to Evidence Based Practice

Finding the Evidence 1 – Using PICO to formulate a search question  Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine