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Cover of Nutrition Basics: An Active Approach v2.1
May 2021
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ISBN (Digital): 

Nutrition Basics: An Active Approach

Version 2.1
By Maureen Zimmerman and Mary Elizabeth Snow

Key Features

  • Updated to reflect the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020–2025.  
  • Organized by physiological function (rather than organized by nutrient) to make it easier for non-majors to understand and apply the information.
  • Requires little or no prior knowledge of college-level chemistry, biology, or physiology.
  • Strong basis in rigorous scientific research that is presented in clear, easy-to-understand explanations and examples.
  • Focused on sustainable food behaviors by taking the environment and local economies into account when making food choices.
  • Supportive learning structure include
    • “Big Ideas” provide a preview of every chapter’s main theme.
    • “Key Terms” help students understand and become comfortable with important terminology.
    • “Interactive” features provide links to online learning tools and over 75 embedded videos and 450 hyperlinks provide high-interest opportunities to stimulate readers’ interactions with online content.
    • “Key Takeaways” at the end of every main section help students mentally consolidate new information while it is still fresh.
    • “Discussion Starters” and multi-level “Exercises” at the end of every chapter prompt interaction, analysis, and extend learning.
  • Customizable.


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Nutrition Basics: An Active Approach is suitable for courses on Personal Nutrition that cover basic information about food, food choices, and health. This book is appropriate for students not majoring in nutrition and courses generally taught at the undergraduate level at most two- and four-year colleges and universities.

Nutrition Basics: An Active Approach is a basic overview of nutrition that explores the relationship between nutrition and physiology. Students will receive a “behind the scenes” examination of health and disease in the body, while examining some of the popular myths about nutrition. Zimmerman and Snow discuss how to develop a foundation for making smart dietary choices as they discuss relevant topics such as obesity, vegetarianism, weight-loss supplements, and more.

New in This Version

  • Updated to reflect the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020–2025.  
    • The first set of these guidelines to be organized by healthy dietary patterns by life stage, from birth through older adulthood. For the first time, there are chapters devoted to each life stage, including chapters on infants and toddlers and women who are pregnant or lactating.
    • Emphasizes the importance of choosing nutrient-dense foods and beverages in place of less healthy choices at every life stage, and it is never too early or too late to improve food and beverage choices to build a healthy dietary pattern.
  • Reflects the recent upates to the Physical Activity Guidelines.
  • Updated based on the release of Healthy People 2030.
  • Reflects the recent updates to Version 2.0
    • Added discussion on the impact of new food labeling laws and reviews on popular diets
    • New information on food insecurity and college students
    • Updated eating disorder content and terminology
    • Updated statistics on obesity, including trends and new treatments
      Updated content on sustainable food systems
    • New research on probiotics, high-fructose corn syrup, milk, and food allergies
    • Updated references, reflecting state-of-the-art recommendations on topics such as peanut allergies, infant feeding, protein intake, and more
    • Links to updated video content
    • New technology and apps for improving diets
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Instructor’s Manual

Instructor’s Manual

The Instructor’s Manual guides you through the main concepts of each chapter and important elements such as learning objectives, key terms, and key takeaways. Can include answers to chapter exercises, group activity suggestions, and discussion questions.

Instructor’s Manual

PowerPoint Lecture Notes

PowerPoint Lecture Notes

A PowerPoint presentation highlighting key learning objectives and the main concepts for each chapter are available for you to use in your classroom. You can either cut and paste sections or use the presentation as a whole.

PowerPoint Lecture Notes

Test Generator - powered by Cognero

Test Generator - powered by Cognero

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Test Bank Files for Import to Learning Management Systems

Test Bank Files for Import to Learning Management Systems

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Test Item File

Test Item File

Need assistance in supplementing your quizzes and tests? Our test-item files (in Word format) contain many multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, and short-answer questions.

Sample Syllabi

Sample Syllabi

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Maureen Zimmerman Mesa Community College

Maureen Zimmerman (EdD Northern Arizona University) is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) who recently retired from Mesa Community College where she was former Department Chair of Design, Family and Consumer Sciences and of Applied Science. Maureen earned her undergraduate degree in nutrition and dietetics at Arizona State University, a master's degree in public health from the University of Hawaii, and a doctorate in educational leadership, with a specialization in educational research, from Northern Arizona University. Passionately and assiduously, Maureen ensured her students not only learned, but that they also enjoyed learning—and developed intellectual habits to sustain them throughout their lives. She fostered active engagement and nurtured the unique skills, experiences, and knowledge each student brought to the learning community. Maureen’s food-first philosophy is summed up in this statement: “Enjoy real food, enjoy it with others, and enjoy it in just the right amounts.”

Mary Elizabeth Snow University of British Columbia

Beth Snow (PhD University of British Columbia) is a Credentialed Evaluator who works as a Scientist and the Head of Evaluation at the Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences (CHOS) in Vancouver, Canada, a Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Population & Public Health at the University of British Columbia, and an instructor at the Justice Institute of British Columbia. She earned a BSc with honors in biochemistry from McMaster University, a MSc in human biology and nutritional sciences from the University of Guelph, a MBA from the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia, and a PhD in human nutrition from the University of British Columbia. Beth’s doctoral research focused on the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on the developing fetal skeleton, and she has published in many academic journals. Following the successful completion of her doctoral program, Beth spent two years working at the British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women's Health, where she ran an interdisciplinary research training program, and then five years as an Evaluation Specialist in Public Health in Greater Vancouver, BC, Canada. Beth’s teaching philosophy involves empowering students to take ownership of their own learning. She uses active learning techniques and encourages students to apply what they learn to real life. In addition to her busy career, Beth is an avid weightlifter and recreational hockey player, and a true foodie who always makes time to cook and share good food.

Additions & Errata

9/20/22: Removed what had been Figure 1.4

8/9/22: FDA recalls (chapter 14.2) and Carbohydrates (chapter 4.1) dead video links removed, no suitable replacements found. Chapter 4.7, Discussion Started question 2 recast to not include no-longer-valid video link.

12/14/21: Update Table 9.9 Changed "RDA" to "AI."

8/26/21: Replaced broken link in Video 1.3 to new video: 

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