About FNIC


The Food and Nutrition Information Center (FNIC) is a leader in on-line global nutrition information. Located at the National Agricultural Library (NAL) of USDA, the FNIC Web site contains over 2500 links to current and reliable nutrition information.



History of FNIC

The center itself was started in 1971 (with 2 nutritionists) under a reimbursable agreement between the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the National Agricultural Library (NAL). The mission was to collect and disseminate information about food and human nutrition.

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). From the start, FNIC has strived to serve the professional community (including educators, health professionals and researchers) as well as consumers by providing access to a wide range of trustworthy food and nutrition resources from both government and non-government sources.

Over the years, FNIC has continued to grow with added services and products to meet the needs of our users for reliable nutrition information. A major milestone occurred in 1995 with the launching of the FNIC Web site, greatly expanding FNIC's reach. In addition to the Web site overall, our most popular products are our Resource Lists and our Databases of Educational Materials. Our most popular services include our Ask A Question and lending services. Our special projects target specific user groups or subject areas.


Special Project Areas in FNIC

Today FNIC has several special project areas each with their own Web sites:

In 2004, FNIC revitalized Nutrition.gov into a Web site geared towards consumers, with a focus on weight management and obesity issues. Nutrition.gov features up-to-date news, and spotlights government resources of interest for the public.

As part of the NAL's Food Information Team, FNIC is also associated with The Food Safety Research Information Office (FSRIO) at the National Agricultural Library.


About FNIC Staff

FNIC's staff now number a dozen trained nutrition professionals, most of whom are registered dietitians (RDs).

FNIC also participates in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics approved University of Maryland (UMD) Dietetic Internship by precepting UMD interns during their information technology rotation.


What FNIC Can Do For You

Help You Locate Information. Our staff of Registered Dietitians and nutritionists is available to answer questions and help you locate resources. Please see the Contact Us Web page.

Lend You Resources. The food and human nutrition collection at NAL includes books, audiovisuals, kits, games, hands-on material, manuals, and journal articles. Eligible patrons may borrow directly from the collection; others may obtain the resources through interlibrary loan. Library Hours are: 8:30AM-4:30PM Monday through Friday. Information on lending services at NAL can be found on the Request Library Materials web page.

Note: NAL no longer provides the direct service document delivery program for special affiliated food and nutrition programs, which was previously supported by an interagency agreement. Individuals who previously used this service should submit requests through the interlibrary loan service of their local library. Review Common Questions on requesting NAL materials for more information.


FNIC Disclaimer

The FNIC Web site provides information about food and human nutrition. The materials found in this Web site 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.

The use of trade, firm, or corporation names in this Web site (or in Web site 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 Web site 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.


National Agricultural Library Disclaimers