Searching for Food, Diet & Nutrition in PubMed Just Got A Lot Easier!

By Eric Rumsey, Janna Lawrence and Xiaomei Gu

As we’ve written earlier, the way that nutrition, food and diet subjects have been arranged in the MeSH tree explosion system has made it tricky to do comprehensive, all-inclusive searching. This has been the case because the three subjects have been in different places in the MeSH tree structure, so that each of them had to be searched separately, and then combined together to cover the subject. It’s likely that many people have searched only for “nutrition,” since that seems to them like the most general term to cover the field. By doing this, however, they have been missing citations on “food” and “diet,” which actually are much larger explosions in the MeSH tree structure than “nutrition.”

We are happy to report that the newly released MeSH changes for 2016 do have a new explosion that goes a long way to fixing the problem:

Diet, Food, and Nutrition [MeSH page]
… Beverages +
… Food +
… Nutritional Physiological Phenomena +
… … Diet+

This is a great advance! It’s no longer necessary to search nutrition, food and diet subjects because they’re now together in the new explosion –  Click here to see the results of  a search of the new explosion.

There are still a few nutrition-food-diet subjects that the new MeSH explosion does not cover (that are included in our hedge) but for most we recommend the new explosion highly!