Nutrition, Obesity, and Health

Permanent URI for this collection

Scope, focus, and relevancy of this collection

According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, more than one-third of all American children and two-thirds of American adults are obese. The obesity epidemic sweeping the country has prompted government agencies, organizations, and research operations to focus on gathering and disseminating scientific evidence related to nutrition, obesity, and health. This collection endeavors to collect the wide variety of digital publications originating at the federal and state (Virginia) level from these agencies and organizations, and that are already available via government web pages.

While many research-based reports and legislative documents that are part of this collection are highly technical and difficult for a consumer to understand, many of them also come with executive summaries or simple breakdowns that are more digestible to the average consumer. This collection endeavors to capture this translation of research into practical knowledge and recommendations.

Furthermore, one of the goals of this collection is to provide a single access point to digital publications produced by the many different agencies and research organizations producing relevant information. Because government websites can be difficult to search and information can be spread across a number of different websites and other web publications, this collection aims to simplify access to documents and research related to nutrition, obesity, and health.

Selection criteria include relevance of content, appropriateness of document format, and legal and technical considerations.

Strategy for building collection

Subject experts from Virginia Tech’s University Libraries will work closely with faculty from the Libraries’ Digital Libraries & Archives department in order to select, organize, provide access to, and publicize the resources that will be integrated into local digital collections.

Collection parameters

The topic for this collection is nutrition, obesity, and health. The collected documents are primarily in English, and all metadata will be written in English. The collection will include materials such as national policies, national standards and guidelines, government documents, legislative law, research reports, and information for consumers from relevant sources.


Many of the government agencies and organizations listed below maintain dynamic webpages, which allow users to capture RSS feeds that allow for easy and instantaneous access to updates relating to resources and legislation related to nutrition, obesity, and health.

Major contributors producing publications relevant to this collection include:

United States Department of Agriculture
  • Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion
  • Food and Nutrition Service
  • Agricultural Research Service
United States Department of Health and Human Services
  • Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Virginia Department of Health
  • Division of Prevention and Health Promotion
Virginia Department of Education
  • School Nutrition

Target audience

A wide variety of academic disciplines and research communities may have an interest in this collection:

  • Public health professionals
  • Veterinary medicine professionals
  • Medical professionals
  • Dietetic professionals
  • Food scientists, analysts, and technologists
  • Cooperative extension agents
  • Life science researchers
  • Health behavior researchers
  • Human factors engineering community

Virginia Tech agriculture, veterinary medicine, and human nutrition, food and exercise scientists conduct research that spans the continuum from producer to consumer. The result is practical solutions for safely producing, processing, and distributing nutritious foods and new knowledge about human and animal health. Researchers in psychology and engineering also address issues of health, such as encouraging healthy behavior.

The Center for Research in Health Behavior is a leader in developing preventive intervention strategies for helping people initiate and sustain critical health behavior changes. Research has focused on cancer and heart disease risk reduction and HIV risk reduction. Sponsors are the National Institutes of Health and the American Cancer Society. More information available:

Specific goals for this collection

Specifically, goals for collecting documents for the Nutrition, Obesity, and Health collection include ensuring the collection’s relevance for faculty, students, and other researchers. Collection decisions will be made based on current scholarship and research at Virginia Tech. The short term goal of this project is to build a valuable, relevant nutrition collection built to serve the information needs of a wide variety of researchers and other users.

Long term goals of this collection include developing new partnerships, expanding the breadth of topics housed within the collection, supporting Virginia Tech’s mission as a land-grant university to disseminate research to practitioners, and, ultimately, to develop an excellent collection of resources revolving around nutrition, obesity, and health.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 20
  • Men in Early Childhood Education
    Dudek, Nancy (Virginia Tech, 2016-07-20)
    An overview of the representation of men in early childhood education, from the perspective of a local, VT affiliated, daycare (Rainbow Riders of Blacksburg, VA). The article shows how the events of April 16th led to one man ending up as a preschool teacher in a female dominated field.
  • Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs
    (United States. Department of Agriculture. Food and Nutrition Service., 2012-01-26)
    "Effective March 26, 2012, this final rule updates the meal patterns and nutrition standards for the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs to align them with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This rule requires most schools to increase the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free and low-fat fluid milk in school meals; reduce the levels of sodium, saturated fat and trans fat in meals; and meet the nutrition needs of school children within their calorie requirements. These improvements to the school meal programs, largely based on recommendations made by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, are expected to enhance the diet and health of school children, and help mitigate the childhood obesity trend. (From the document summary)"
  • Let's eat: for the health of it
    (United States. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011-06)
    The MyPlate brochure is a consumer resource that offers four recommendations for becoming healthier: building a healthy plate, cutting back on foods high in solid fats, added sugars, and sat, eating the right amount of calories for you, and being physically active your way. In addition to using simple language, the brochure includes many colorful, explanatory graphics that supplement the information included in the brochure.
  • CHAMPION: Commonwealth's Healthy Approach and Mobilization Plan for Inactivity, Obesity, and Nutrition
    (Virginia. Department of Health., 2012-05-03)
    The document's executive summary states that "this report describes the Division of WIC and Community Nutrition Services (DWCNS) response to the increasing obesity trend through the creation of the Commonwealth’s Healthy Approach and Mobilization Plan for Inactivity, Obesity and Nutrition (CHAMPION). The CHAMPION process was not designed with the intention of being a scientific study; rather, a means of gathering information to be used in the creation of a plan to help reduce or eliminate obesity in Virginia."
  • Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010
    United States. Department of Agriculture.; United States. Department of Health and Human Services. (United States. Department of Agriculture, 2010-12)
    This publication represents the 7th edition of the Dietary Guidelines. The Dietary Guidelines are usually released every five years or so. The Guidelines provide science-based nutrition guidelines for all Americans aged 2 years and older.
  • Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act
    (United States. Government Printing Office., 2004-07-02)
    The stated purpose of this law is to provide assistance to the States in the establishment, maintenance,operation, and expansion of school lunch programs, and for other purposes.
  • Nutrient content of the U.S. food supply, 2005
    Hiza, H.A.B.; Bente, L.; Fungwe, T. (United States. Department of Agriculture. Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion., 2008-03)
    This report estimates the availability and percentage contributions of nutrients by major food groups. There are data for monitoring the potential of the food supply to meet nutritional needs; for examining relationships between food supplies, diet, and health; and for examining dietary trends of Americans.
  • Dietary Guidelines 2010: selected messages for consumers
    United States. Department of Agriculture. (United States. Department of Agriculture, 2011-06)
    This one-page document breaks down the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans into three categories: balancing calories, foods to increase, and foods to reduce. Two simple recommendations are made in each category.
  • Governor's nutrition and physical activity scorecard
    (Virginia. Governor's Office., 2012-05-03)
    Research-based “best practices” that support proper nutrition and increased physical activity for K-12 students form the basis of a Web-based Governor’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Scorecard. Schools are encouraged to use the Web-based scorecard as a tool for identifying best practices and measuring progress towards meeting the nutrition and physical activity needs of students. The best practices and policies recommended by Virginia Action for Healthy Kids, national and state organizations, and the Joint Committee of the Board of Education and Board of Health are incorporated into the scorecard. A point system has been created to evaluate and recognize school-based efforts. A tiered recognition program has been developed (e.g., gold, silver, bronze) that rewards schools based on the best practices implemented. The Governor’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Scorecard is an incentive program intended to drive best practices and policy changes at the school and division levels, enhance student health, and improve academic achievement.
  • Diet quality of Americans in 1994-96 and 2001-02 as measured by the Healthy Eating Index-2005
    Guenther, Patricia M.; Juan, WenYen; Reedy, Jill; Britten, Patricia; Lino, Mark; Carlson, Andrea; Hiza, Hazel H.; Krebs-Smith, Susan M. (United States. Department of Agriculture. Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion., 2008-08)
    This publication describes the diet quality of Americans 1994-96 and 2001-02, as measured by the Healthy Eating Index-2005.
  • 30 ways in 30 days to stretch your fruit and vegetable budget
    (United States. Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012-05-03)
    A publication of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this consumer-oriented document offers 30 tips for consumers to increase their intake of fruits and vegetables while maintaining a careful budget. It includes links to related government websites, and is written in simple, easy to understand language.
  • Can eating fruits and vegetables help people to manage their weight?
    (United States. Department of Health and Human Services, 2012-05-03)
    The research covered in this brief supports the conclusion that replacing foods of high energy density (high calories per weight of food) with foods of lower energy density, such as fruits and vegetables, can be an important part of a weight management strategy.
  • Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, Section 204: Local School Wellness Policies. 5-Year Technical Assistance and Guidance Plan
    (United States. Department of Agriculture. Food and Nutrition Service, 2011-09-20)
    This document provides a 5-year technical assistance and guidance plan for schools to implement, locally, the federal requirements detailed by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) of 2010 (Public Law 111-296, Section 204). The guidance plan details the difference between the 2004 requirements (as described by the Child Nutrition WIC Reauthorization Act) and the 2010 requirements (as described by HHFKA). This document sets the 5-year implementation period from March 2011-Fall 2014.
  • Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010
    (United States Government Printing Office, 2010-12-13)
    The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 Legislation (Public Law 111-296) represents a federal statute signed into existence by President Barack Obama in December 2010. The bill funds nutrition and free lunch programs in public schools through 2014, and sets new nutrition standards for these schools. This new statute closely relates to First Lady Michelle Obama's advocacy efforts in reducing childhood obesity in America and for creating a healthier generation of children.
  • Healthy People 2020 Objectives
    (United States. Department of Health and Human Services., 2012-05-03)
    Healthy People provides science-based, 10-year objectives for improving the health of all Americans. Healthy People 2020 launched on December 2, 2010, and focuses on 42 specific topic areas. Topic areas range from access to health services to vision.
  • Development and Evaluation of the Healthy Eating Index-2005
    Guenther, Patricia M.; Reedy, Jill; Krebs-Smith, Susan M.; Reeve, Bryce B.; Basiotis, P. Peter (United States. Department of Agriculture. Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, 2007-11)
    The Healthy Eating Index (HEI) was developed to measure compliance with dietary guidelines, and is used by the USDA to monitor change in the Nation's diet. The HEI-2005 was specifically developed to measure compliance with the key diet-related recommendations of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The original HEI was developed in 1995; the HEI-2005 discusses the main differences between its content and that of the original HEI.
  • Summary of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (by program)
    (United States. Department of Agriculture. Food and Nutrition Service., 2011-02-03)
    This document summarizes the major provisions of the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-296). Specifically, it looks at the statute section by section in order to clarify the statute's impact on school meal programs around the country.
  • My Plate recipes
    (United States. Department of Agriculture., 2012-05-03)
    In 2011, My Plate replaced the Food Pyramid as a visual representation for the USDA Dietary Guidelines. This publication, a group of recipes based on this new division of food groups, reflects the effort of the USDA and other groups to translate science-based research into everyday practice for Americans. Fifteen recipes (3 from each food group) show ways to use foods from each food group. They are complete with basic nutritional analyses and food group amounts.
  • Getting started with MyPlate
    (United States. Department of Agriculture. Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, 2011-06)
    This three-page document introduces the MyPlate concept as a replacement for Food Pyramid. The document contains an overview of the website, points readers to consumer resources, and offers other basic and technical information from the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion.
  • Healthy recipes from the White House to you: HealthierUS school challenge celebration
    (United States. Department of Agriculture., 2011-10-17)
    A document generated as part of the Let's Move campaign, this compilation of five recipes from the White House kitchen includes a note from First Lady Michelle Obama. The document was distributed to schools that received a HealthierUS School Challenge Award. The HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) is a voluntary certification initiative established in 2004 to recognize those schools participating in the National School Lunch Program that have created healthier school environments through promotion of nutrition and physical activity.