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Food and Nutrition Information Center

Updated DRI Calculator for Health Professionals

This tool will calculate daily nutrient recommendations based on the Dietary Reference Intakes.

Start Simple with MyPlate: Food Planning during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Tips on what to buy, how much to buy, and how to prepare what you need

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Historical Dietary Guidance Digital Collection

This collection allows users to search over 1,200 federal dietary guidance and nutrition education publications.

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Activities, Tools and Curriculum for teaching nutrition and food safety

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USDA Food and Nutrient Data System for Researchers and Consumers

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Where can I find weight and diet information for teens?

 The BMI uses height and weight to screen for obesity, overweight, healthy weight or underweight. Measuring BMI is a little different for children and teens than it is for adults because you may or may not still be growing.

If you have specific questions regarding your weight, we recommend contacting a healthcare provider who can help you decide what is healthy for you. For more information, see Teen Nutrition.

Where can I find information about popular weight-loss diets?

 For reliable information, see What You Should Know About Popular Diets. Weight-loss diets have been popular for many years. In fact, many people have followed a weight-loss diet at one time or another. Unfortunately, most results are not permanent and some pose serious health risks. The popular low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet is an example of a strict weight-loss program that may carry potentially serious health risks.

What is a healthy diet?

A healthy eating pattern is one that provides enough of each essential nutrient from nutrient-dense foods, contains a variety of foods from all of the basic food groups, and focuses on balancing calories consumed with calories expended to help you achieve and sustain a healthy weight. This eating pattern limits intake of solid fats, sugar, salt (sodium) and alcohol.

What are the most common foods that people are allergic to?

A consumer resource from the FDA, Food Allergies: What You Need to Know, lists the foods that most commonly cause allergies as milk, eggs, fish, crab, lobster, shrimp, almonds and other tree nuts, and peanuts. Peanuts are one of the chief foods responsible for severe anaphylaxis.

Children will typically outgrow their allergies to milk, egg, soy and wheat, but will not typically outgrow their allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shrimp. In contrast, adults will not typically outgrow any of their allergies.


The Food and Nutrition Information Center (FNIC) is a leader in online global nutrition information. Located at the National Agricultural Library (NAL) of the United States Department of Agriculture, the FNIC website contains over 2500 links to current and reliable nutrition information.

The Food and Agriculture Act of 1977 (Farm Bill) established the Food and Nutrition Information and Education Resources Center (later known as the Food and Nutrition Information Center, or FNIC) as a permanent entity within NAL. (see p.26 of PDF).

FNIC strives to serve the professional community (including educators, health professionals and researchers) by providing access to a wide range of trustworthy food and nutrition resources from both government and non-government sources. The FNIC website provides information about food and human nutrition. The materials found on this website are not intended to be used for the diagnosis or treatment of a health problem or as a substitute for consulting a licensed health professional.

To learn more about FNIC's content and linking policy, please review the webmaster section of the Frequently Asked Questions.  

The use of trade, firm, or corporation names in this website (or in website pages) is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by USDA or the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable. Likewise, some databases available on the FNIC website include resources from "non-government entities." Inclusion of these materials in a database does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by FNIC or the U.S. Government.

If you have a question related to food and nutrition please use the Ask a Question form. For questions about the FNIC website email:

In person: FNIC Specialists can assist you Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. EST at the National Agricultural Library (NAL) in Beltsville, Maryland.

By phone: Call (301) 504-5414 to talk to an Information Specialist

By mail:

Food and Nutrition Information Center

USDA ARS National Agricultural Library

10301 Baltimore Avenue,

Beltsville, MD 20705-2351

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