Nutrition Information Critique essay

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Eating is both pleasure and necessity for a person, according to Voltaire’s words. Thus, as technology develops, food industry appeared to supply people with different the wide variety of food. Nowadays, food selection is so diverse, that a person can not decide what is well for him or her. People seek assistance, and as Internet is the most accessible they go online for advice.  Naturally, there are many sites that offer nutrition information, so we’ll choose two presentable ones and analyze the information they offer.

The first web site nutritiondata.self.com is a member of Condé Net media group, which publishes websites, magazines, B2B publications, applications for mobile devices, etc (Self Nutrition Data). The second, nutrition.about.com, is a part of New York Times Company that offers expert content that helps users to find solutions to daily needs (About.com. Nutrition). Both sites look reliable and offer multi-purpose nutrition information. People are interested in nutrition because of three reasons: dieting and weight loss, diabetes, and general health. These three make the main subcategories of the nutrition resources. The critique will include accessibility to resources & reliability analysis, information type and presentation revision, and thematic web tools analysis.

The site appearance and construction are significant for person’s first impression. The homepage of nutritiondata.self.com consists of bright thematic block of equal value. Among them, there are advertisements blocks that are difficult to recognize since they merge with thematic block of the site. However, colored blocks for the most substantial topics are centered and visible. The design of nutrition.about.com is modest. The main topics are formatted in see green line at the top of the page which attracts attention. Advertisement blocks are present as well, but they are unnoticeable. This resource is easy-to-use.

Topics presented at nutritiondata.self.com are mostly posted by admin. The articles are advanced, though nothing is mentioned about author’s qualification. Some articles cite medical institution as a source. The typical customer probably will not notice, though some who seeks for the serious advice will be disenchanted. The content of nutrition.about.com is maintained by Shereen Jegtvig. She holds a master’s degree for Health Sciences and has 16 years of clinical practice. Now she’s a full-time health and nutrition writer (About.com.Nutrition). The information provided on the site is reliable as qualification of the author is decisive.

Information from World Health Organization is a reliable source for comparison of the data presented on the web sites. Calories and nutrients information from the websites was compared to World Health Organization data. The test proves that both sites under analysis support with the credible information.

The home page of nutrition.about.com presents up-to-date topics formatted in a news line at the center of the web page. This form of presentation is valuable for people who visit the site periodically and look up for the new articles. Information on the website is educational and meant to expand one’s horizon on nutrition issues. Those who visit the site for the first time will find useful “Must Reads” section which includes topics and nutrition tests. These allow calculating the need for calories and water and estimating the healthiness of your diet. They are useful and user-friendly resources, though the calculators allow input in non metric units only. Consider global access to the site, metric option would be handy. At the lower part of the homepage, there’s a nutrition video section. The videos are compact, useful and provide advance visualization of nutrition-related topics. The main menu of nutrition.about.com allows quick access to the subcategories with reading materials. The site seems to cover all topics that might be interesting for the average person, among these diet influence on heart and other health conditions, nutrition for aged people and children.

At home page of nutritiondata.self.com one has two ways of accessing the information. These are through color blocks at the center of the page and grey line at the top. This alternative is useful; however it might seem too complicated for aged people. Thus, these readers are feasible as site gives information on diabetes and heart diseases. The reading topics are more complicated, like “Fatty Acids”, “Glycemic Index”, “Food additives”, which was not found for nutrition.about.com. There’s “Did you know?” section that provides nutrition tips. The most remarkable are the calculating tools. Except for a common calories calculator (both metric and non metric units are included), there’s a recipe calculator, nutrient search, caloric ratio search, etc.  It also suggests an explanation of nutrition data food label, which turns the site into a resource for advance nutrition training. This site should be positioned as a reference guide for a person who knows enough about nutrition and actively implements its principles to life.   

Both websites proved to be reliable as their information matches information from World Health Organization. While nutrition.about.com clearly states the author of the topics and her qualification, the other site doesn’t mention him or her. Both websites provide short tips for the day that build an understanding of better food choices. The homepage of nutritiondata.self.com loses in visual acceptability of data presentation, but then steps far forward in information content and tools. However, each of them has its audience, nutrition.about.com is a resource for average customers, and the other is meant for the advanced.

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