Evaluating Nutrition Information on the Internet

Critiquing Instructions Found on the Web: Choose one nutrition-related website from the list under Website A and one nutrition-related website from the Website B list (see page 3). Evaluate each of these sites by completing the chart below.

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Website A

Website B

Complete URL address



Title of website

Today’s Dietitian


What is the source of the website? Who is responsible for the site (.gov, .edu, .com, .net)?

Great Valley Publishing Company, Inc.

It is a .com

Genentech USA, inc

It is also a .com

Comment on the sites authority – what are the author’s credentials?

Aglaee Jacob, MS, RD is a freelance writer who specializes in diabetes education and digestive health, and is currently studying naturopathic medicine in Toronto.

The website does not state who the author is. Genentech describes their work as, they “use human genetic information to discover, develop, manufacture and commercialize medicines to treat patients with serious or life-threatening medical conditions.”

How current is the website? Provide the publication or copyright date.

The websites copyright date is 2014

The articles issue date is Feb 2013

The websites copyright date is 2014

What is the websites main purpose: commercial (to sell), informational, educational, persuasive, entertainment or a hoax?

I would put it in more of an informative/persuasive website with a little bit of a commercial undertone. Even though it doesn’t have third party advertisements to sell you products it is still trying to promote the sales of the magazine. Today’s Dietitianis a magazine for nutrition professionals to inform them about changes in the nutrition world.

To help an individual lose weight. I would put it in more of an educational/persuasive/commercial website. Even though it doesn’t have third party advertisements to sell you products it is still trying to promote its own weight loss medication. It isn’t entertaining or a hoax. The first 5 tabs the website is just trying to help a person start the process of losing weight. It gives you step by step directions on how to talk to your doctor about losing weight; it teaches you how to read a food label. It even quizzes you about fat facts. On the very last tab “helpful tools” it does tell you to talk to your doctor about their weight loss medication Xenical.

Are there advertisements? Is the site selling any products? If so, what is it?

There are no outside advertisements but the website does promote its own subscription.

No products are being actually sold on the weightloss.com website but it does suggest that you talk to your doctor about their weight loss medication. Interestingly enough if you go to the parent company’s website and look under “product information” the weight loss medication isn’t listed. Only under the “for patients” “our medication” tab does it show Xenical as a product they manufacture.

Summarize the main point(s) of the website.

The main point of this article is that there is a possible connection between autoimmune diseases and the over absorption of incompletely digested protein and antigens in the intestinal lining.

The first tab is how to talk to your doctor. The second tab is all about eating healthy and how to do so. The third tab is about exercise how to create a plan and get started. The fourth tab is to be positive and how to stay positive. The fifth tab “helpful tools” has the sales pitch for Xenical.

Who is the target audience? Registered dietitians, athletes, medical doctors, moms, students, etc.

Clinical dietitians, consultant dietitians, clinical nutrition counselors, foodservice managers, certified diabetes educators, primary health coaches, and pharmaceutical professionals. Also distributed to hospitals, educational facilities, nursing homes, government agencies, food companies, and correctional facilities.

Overweight individuals.

Comment on the overall visual appearance of the website. (Is there any pictures or illustrations?)

The webpage is bright and colorful. On the top it has a bright green color with images of droplets of water and a ghost image of a fern leaf, to me making it look fresh. In the actual article we see the magazine’s cover of the issue when the article was published.

It’s a very boring website in the way of appearance. The actual interactive portion of the website doesn’t even take up a whole page. There are total of 4 pictures of happy “normal healthy” people and they change when you go through the different tabs.

Comment on the writing style. Is there any persuasion? What kind of language is used? Is it poorly written? Provide an example.

It is very informative and detailed. There is a scientific base with the studies and theories. At one point it does go into more of a persuasive article when it states that “according to the theory” “Once gluten is removed from the diet, serum zonulin levels decrease, the intestine resumes its baseline barrier function, the autoantibody titers are normalized, the autoimmune process shuts off and, consequently, the intestinal damage heals completely.” As that is someone’s opinion and not a fact, as of yet.

It’s an easy to read website, no big words. It explains each somewhat technical word so anyone can understand. It does put a lot of emphasis on getting the information from your doctor. It is definitely pushing you to go to your doctor’s office to work up your weight loss plan and goals. “When it comes to your weight and your health, your doctor is there to advise you that losing excess weight should be an important priority. So talk to your doctor. Together you can find ways to manage your weight successfully.”

Are there links to other reliable sites such as a bibliography and /or references? If so, how many references are listed?

Yes there are references. There are a total of 5 references.

No references, but under the “nutritional guidelines” tab they do mention that they got the information form 6 reputable websites.

Here is a set of common dietary guidelines offered by six national health organizations*

*The American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, the American Dietetic Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Institutes of Health, and the American Society for Clinical Nutrition

Summarize: Comment on the overall differences you observed between the two websites. Would you utilize either of the site’s nutrition information personally or recommend it to another person? Explain using at least one specific example from each site. Refer to Table C1-3 in the textbook .

The overall differences that jump out to me is that the webpage “Today’s Dietitian” seems more put together and I feel that someone has actually put effort into it so people will take it seriously. It looks more professional, it has better colors, it’s brighter, and way more open about who is responsible for it. I would recommend the website “Today’s Dietitian” because it is the more reputable of the 2 websites. “Weightloss.com” does seem like it has correct information and great recipes for a low-fat diet, but it just doesn’t have the references and sources to back up its information, whereas, “Today’s Dietitian” shows where and how it got its information at the end of the article. Plus “Weightloss.com” puts a lot of the information onto your doctor, it pushes you too see your doctor because that’s the only way to get their medication is by prescription.

Website A


Choose one article under the Sports Science Library to review.


Review one article under Eat Healthy and Get Active


Review any open access article


Article on Gut Health and Autoimmune Diseases


Research on time spent sitting related to chronic diseases

Website B


Choose one article to review that is related to health and nutrition