Use this guide to quickly find reputable sources and save time on your research! Contact your subject librarian or the reference librarians if you need more help. For an overview of how to research efficiently, see Steps of the Research Process.

Finding Materials in the Library

Search CityCat to find books, e-books, disks and more. There are many ways to search, such as Title, Author and Keyword.

Books in the library are organized by call number according to the Library of Congress classification system which groups items by subject, so you can often simply browse the shelves. Examples of Subject searches include:diet, digestion, food, food habits, food perferences, vitamins, health, food --analysis, malnutrition, food contamination, nutrition --environmental aspects.
Here are some relevant subjects and their call numbers:



Personal Health & Hygiene RA 773-788
Nutrition - Foods & Food Supply TX 341-641
Diet Therapy - Dietary Cookbooks RM 214-258
Nutritional Diseases RC 620-627
Physiology (related to nutrition) QP 141


Reference Sources

Reference books are great for short overviews and background information. There are also reference resources in our database section.

Boyle, M.A., & Long, S. (2007). Personal nutrition (6th ed.). Australia: Thomson/Wadsworth.
RA784 .B65 2007 Statler Reference, Statler Reserve

Filled with nutritional facts and principles designed to enhance one's personal daily life, this textbook provides a wide range of concepts and practical tips that can be applied to food shopping, eating out, and dining in. Sample topics include ideal diets, nutrition and fitness, carbohydrates, vitamins, and so forth. Special features include an extensive glossary, food composition charts, assessment questions at the end of each chapter, and nutrition-related resources for further reading.

Shannon, J.B. (Ed.). (2006). Diet and nutrition sourcebook (3rd ed.). Detroit, MI: Omnigraphics.
RA784 .D534 2006 Rosenberg Reference; John Adams DeAvila Reference

Presented in a question-and-answer format, this book provides basic dietary principles and guidelines to achieve a dietary balance for people of all ages. Supplementary features include updated information on recommended daily intake values, a glossary of dietary and nutrition terms, nutritional resources on the Web, directory of food-related organizations, and federal nutrition support programs.

Serfass, K. D. (2006). The New food pyramid [DVD] : steps to a healthier you. Lawrenceville, N.J. : Meridian Education.
JA DVD 0011 John Adams DeAvila/DVD; AS DVD 0015 Alice Statler/DVD

This DVD presents the USDA's MyPyramid food guidance system, with information delivered by nutrition experts from Princeton University.

Duyff, R. L. (2006). American Dietetic Association complete food and nutrition guide (3rd ed., Rev. and updated). Hoboken, N.J. : John Wiley & Sons.
RA784 .D89 2006 John Adams DeAvila Reference

A practical guide to food and nutrition, this contains information on healthy eating, food safety, consumer tips and special topics in nutrition such as aging, women, athletics, vegetarian eating, supplements and more.

Moore, M.C. (2005). Pocket guide to nutritional assessment and care. St. Louis, Mo.: Elsevier Mosby.
RM219 .M585 2005 John Adams DeAvila Reference

Designed to be a compact source for clinical practitioners, this covers nutrition for health promotion, nutrition support, and medical nutrition therapy.

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Use databases for specialized and the most up-to-date information, especially academic (scholarly) sources that are not available for free on the Web. See the Articles & Databases page for a full list of databases available.

Gale Powersearch
Infotrac is a brand name for several databases with coverage from 1980 to the present. 
Health and Wellness Resource Center is the most useful for nutrition topics, including encyclopedias and other reference tools, videos, multimedia presentations, and thousands of popular and scholarly articles. 
The InfoTrac Health Reference Center Academic, and Academic OneFile databases also include many articles on nutrition. These databases let you limit your results to articles only from scholarly journals by checking the box for "peer-reviewed" publications.

CQ Researcher
CQ provides lengthy research reports written by the editorial staff of the Congressional Quarterly Co. Many reports related to nutrition are offered, such as obesity, diet and health, famine in Africa, food irradiation, baby boomers at midlife, biotech foods, eating diorders, world hunger, and hunger in America.

Ethnic Newswatch
Comprised of newspapers, magazines and journals of the ethnic, minority and native press in America, this unique body of materials covers a wide range of current topics and countless other social, political and educational subjects. More than 200 publications covering 1995 to the present are represented, and searchable in both English and Spanish. 

SFPL - Electronic Resources, Magazines, and Newspapers
San Francisco Public Library subscribes to many periodical and reference databases. You must have a San Francisco Public Library card number to access them. Once you have entered your barcode number, select the subject - Health.

E-Nutrition Journals

Magazines and newsletters offer current news and developments in the nutrition field and are published more frequently than books. Feel free to explore the following titles for up-to-date information on a variety of nutrition and health issues and topics.

Note: The online versions of these magazines and newsletters may require subscriptions and provide selected feature articles so it is best to check the copies in the library for complete issues.

Center for Science in the Public Interest, Nutrition Action Healthletter
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is a consumer advocacy organization whose twin missions are to conduct innovative research and advocacy programs in health and nutrition, and to provide consumers with current, useful information about their health and well-being. 

Environmental Nutrition: The Newsletter of Food, Nutrition and Health
This independent newsletter offers nutritional guidance on topics such as maintaining low fat diets, preventing cancer through healthy dieting, and cooking healthy meals. Nutritional and food comparison charts are laid out to facilitate consumer shopping for brand name foods.

FDA Consumer
Published bi-monthly by the U.S. FDA, this magazine provides articles on diet, nutrition, and new medicine as well as the latest news regarding regulatory products such as food, drugs, and medical devices. 

Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter 
The goal of the Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter is to provide the consumer with honest, reliable, scientifically authoritative health and nutrition advice that not only can be trusted but can have a direct and often immediate effort on their health. 

University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter
Drawing from the expertise of UC Berkeley's School of Public Health and researchers worldwide, this monthly newsletter provides concise facts, tips, and articles on diet, health, and preventive nutrition and practices against diseases and other illnesses. Articles are simplified and evaluated for the general consumer.


Use websites for government information, statistics and current events. It's very important to carefully evaluate websites for accuracy, currency, bias and credibility.

Below are some examples of academic/scholarly web sites for nutrition. If yu use a search engine, such as Google, remember to evaluate the quality of the results.

American Dietetic Association
Find dietary and nutritional information. Click on the site index to access various nutrition topics. Included is a searchable database of dietitians. 

American Institute for Cancer Research 
AICR is the cancer charity that fosters research on diet and cancer prevention and educates the public about the results. 

Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion
CNPP works to improve the health and well-being of Americans by developing and promoting dietary guidance that links scientific research to the nutrition needs of consumers. The Center is an agency of USDA's Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services. 

Center for Weight and Health
The Center facilitates interactions among researchers, policy makers and community based providers from various disciplines and institutions who are concerned about weight, health and food security, and promotes collaboration on projects between professionals and members of diverse communities. 

Cultural and Ethnic Food and Nutrition Education Materials: A Resource List for Educators
Comprehensive bibliography and links to ethnic foodways resources (food pyramids, journal article abstracts, educational fact sheets and booklets). Includes materials in Spanish and other languages. 

Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recognized as the lead federal agency for protecting the health and safety of people - at home and abroad, providing credible information to enhance health decisions, and promoting health through strong partnerships. CDC serves as the national focus for developing and applying disease prevention and control, environmental health, and health promotion and education activities designed to improve the health of the people of the United States. 

Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005
Published jointly every 5 years by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Guidelines provide authoritative advice for people two years and older about how good dietary habits can promote health and reduce risk for major chronic diseases. 

Food and Nutrition Information Center
Provides links to information on dietary supplements and guidelines, food safety, and food guide pyramids. Also includes an alphabetical index to food and nutrition topics. 

Food Stamp Nutrition Connection
The Food Stamp Nutrition Connection (FSNC) is a resource system for Food Stamp Program nutrition education providers. FSNC is the result of a collaboration between the USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), National Agricultural Library's Food and Nutrition Information Center, the University of Maryland, and Howard University. 

Healthy Weight Network
Weight and eating resources and books by scientific experts. Authoritative research on obesity, eating disorders, dieting, weight loss treatment, overweight, size acceptance, fraud and quackery, and moving ahead with the Health at Every Size approach (also known as Health at Any Size). 

Jones and Bartlett Publishers
Integrated website to accompany text Discovering Nutrition, Second Edition by Paul Insel, R. Elaine Turner, and Don Ross, 2006. 

MyPyramid is your access point for the USDA food guidance system. 

National Cancer Institute
The national 5 A Day for Better Health Program gives Americans a simple, positive message—eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day for better health. The program is jointly sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH), a nonprofit consumer education foundation representing the fruit and vegetable industry. The National Cancer Institute funds behavior change and communications research to determine strategies that are effective to increase fruit and vegetable consumption. 

National Food Safety Database
Gateway to government food safety information. 

Specialized nutrition information is available for infants, children, teens, men, women, seniors, and minorities. Additional features include dietary guidelines for healthy eating, treatment and prevention of diseases, and more.

Nutrition and Healthy Eating Advice
Compiled by registered dietitian and nutrition educator Rick Hall, this guide contains a wealth of information on human nutrition, exercise, and wellness. Select from different categories such as eating advice, food products, vegetarianism, and sports nutrition.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is the public health agency in the U.S. Department of Agriculture responsible for ensuring that the nation's commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products is safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged. 

U.S. Government Healthfinder
A searchable government website developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. this resource provides reliable health information from over 1800 health-related organizations as well as online publications, subject guides, databases, and websites. 

Wadsworth Nutrition Resource Center
An online supplement to the Personal Nutrition textbook (refer to the "Finding Book and Other Materials" section), this website provides additional nutritional resources. Click "Nutrition Links" to access information on societies and organizations, government agencies, publications (e.g., newsletters, journal sites, news pages), nutrition tables, and other related Web links.


American Dietetic Association
Founded in 1917, "ADA's mission is to promote optimal nutrition and well-being for all people by advocating for its members."

American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS)
Founded in 1909, this longstanding association seeks to improve the quality of individual and family life via programs that educate, influence public policy, disseminate information, and publish research findings in a wide arena of areas including food and nutrition and human growth and development. 

California Dietetic Association 
The California Dietetic Association is the advocate of the dietetic profession, benefiting the public through the promotion of optimal nutrition, health and well-being. 

Society for Nutritional Education (SNE)
Founded in 1967, this association representing the professional interests of nutrition educators in the U.S. and worldwide. It strives to promote healthful food choices, fostering a vision of healthy people living in healthy communities. 

National Alliance for Nutrition & Activity (NANA)
NANA advocates national policies and programs to promote healthy eating and physical activity to help reduce the illnesses, disabilities, premature deaths, and costs caused by diet- and inactivity-related diseases. Find a listing of other related associations both nationally and locally.