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Related to this question, I was wondering why nutrition group is limited to nutritionists and medical professionals. I think there is a need for anybody to ask questions about nutrition and get good answers. For instance, Stack Overflow is not limited to professional programmers only; Seasoned Advice is not limited to professional cooks only; Physics group is not limited to professional physicists only. What is the rationale to limit nutrition to professionals only? For instance, I am not a nutritionist or medical professional, can I support this group?

But I definitely agree that nutrition needs to be separate from fitness and exercise topics.

EDIT 1/29/14

I think this process is taking too long. I recently learned that the co-founder of StackExchange Jeff Atwood started Discourse a forum platform and I started a nutrition forum using it. If anyone is interested it is here: www.nomilkfor.me

StackExchange platform is not for discussion but for answers. I am not sure which format is better for nutrition. Discussion may be better. There is a satisfaction in finding out something on your own by discussing it with peers.

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    Please add a link to the proposal of the question so it shows up in their feed. – Baarn Oct 17 '13 at 10:02
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    See this question for my concerns on this topic. – Baarn Oct 17 '13 at 10:04
  • @Baarn I added the link to the proposal. – Zeynel Oct 18 '13 at 11:10
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The premise behind these sites is that we ARE building a community for experts. Some people will use the word "professional" (meaning someone who literally makes a living in the field), but we don't allow the creation of "member's only" sites, so everyone's welcome. It's not like we're checking credentials at the door. But the premise between expert and professional is synonymous. We are DESIGNING a site for experts.

To attract experts, you need a site where people are asking very interesting and challenging questions, not the basic questions found on every other Q&A site. Remember, the pro sites WILL attract the enthusiasts, but not the other way around! So the goal is to make it clear that this is a professional site.

This is a quote from the Area 51 'Help Center'. See if this helps clarify the meaning behind what we mean by creating an expert site:

Ask real, expert questions
We want you to capture the moment that plumbers feel when they look at Plumber Overflow and say, "Whoa! That's my kinda site!" On a site about plumbing, there are 200 easy plumbing questions, and they've all been asked 100 times on other sites. Don't suggest questions like "How do I unclog a drain?" Instead ask, "If you run 2.5 GPM through 50 feet of 1/2" galv pipe, how many psi will be lost to friction loss?" Remember, pro sites WILL attract the enthusiasts, but not the other way around!

  • I agree with this sentiment, but experts is defined too narrowly in this description. It's not clear that an MD is any more qualified to answer a question than a "nutritionist" or "nutrition scientist" or a "physiologist". Unlike registered dietitians, doctors and nurses do not necessarily undergo much nutrition specific training, but doctors and nurses are the exact types of people we would want on this site to ask challenging questions. However, there are many general scientists and nutrition specialists, who aren't registered dietitians, but are bound to ask similarly good questions. – WetlabStudent May 18 '14 at 2:11
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I think it's a shame to have a description that deters the so-called "non-professionals" from using the site. Indeed it's also unnecessary. StackOverflow, for instance, attracts high quality computer programming professionals and enthusiasts that post very good questions and answers. It also has its share of "basic" questions (many from those that are supposedly professionals in the industry) but the presence of these do not appear to scare the experts away. If a question is "basic" or poorly written or otherwise not very useful, then it either doesn't get answered or it is down-voted, closed or moderated in some way; all the necessary features are there to distinguish the really good Q&As from the not so good ones.

Also, it would not be beyond the realms of possibility for a layman to pose a half decent question about nutrition or, dare I say, a good answer to a question. Especially in the field of nutrition, where opinions are divided on many topcis and even the experts/professionals simply do not have the body of scientific evidence available to provide much more than an opinion based on their personal experience. I'd say there is plenty of scope therefore, for the layman/enthusiast to weigh in.

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