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Requests for nutritional advice and medical information are off-topic for this board. But that's not clearly spelled out in the help docs.

Suggested text:

Requests for nutritional or medical advice: if your question is primarily about the nutritional content or medical benefits (or dangers) of food, it is not answerable here.

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  • Current policy: Nutrition is in scope if it’s about measurable data. Your suggestion would exclude parts of what was previously in scope. Is that intentional?
    – Stephie Mod
    Feb 13 at 17:50
  • Nope, wanna answer with some revised text?
    – FuzzyChef
    Feb 13 at 18:36
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    When I can think straight again. Too many topics IRL.
    – Stephie Mod
    Feb 13 at 21:47
  • Nitpick: it is in the help center, on the [on-topic] page. Under off-topic questions, there is the bullet point 'General health and diet issue (e.g. "Is cauliflower healthy?")'. I'm certainly open to replacing it with a more precise and meaningful formulation.
    – rumtscho Mod
    Feb 19 at 12:17
  • Yeah, the problem with that is that it doesn't cover a lot of the kinds of questions we won't take, including many questions about undocumented micronutrients and vitamin absorbtion, etc.
    – FuzzyChef
    Feb 19 at 15:33

1 Answer 1

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How about

Questions about the medical benefits of food, the effects of food on the human body, and questions whose goal is to find out which foods one should eat. Examples: "Is cauliflower healthy/nutritious/good for you" or "Which foods are good for a diabetic".

We have a few paragraphs below the off-topic list too. They aren't as likely to be noticed as the short list, but since this topic is so complex, it might be warranted to add 2-3 sentences there, expanding on the different kinds of "this also falls under the health ban" question, and/or link to the Meta discussion with the long explanation.

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    I'm thinking we should add in "allowed" on-topic questions: "Questions about the nutritional labeling and health regulations." to make it clear what is allowed, as opposed to have isn't.
    – FuzzyChef
    Feb 19 at 15:31
  • @FuzzyChef Two comments. First the more general one: I don't think we have a problem with people coming in and being afraid to ask about the allowed topics. We do have the opposite problem, people coming in, asking about the out-of-scope topics, and then arguing endlessly that they must be in scope. So I'd leave the allowed list as-is: if it ain't broken, don't fix it. Second, about this specific case. In the on-topic section, we have "food safety", which I think corresponds to what you call "health regulations". As for your "nutritional labeling" part, I suppose you're referring to (cont.)
    – rumtscho Mod
    Feb 20 at 7:05
  • (cont.) questions from the nutrient-composition tag. That one has always been difficult. It's a grey area that's tolerated, but not an especially good fit. Also, it's hard for a new user to grasp what exactly is allowed and excluded under it, without knowing a lot about our counterintuitive principles of accepting content. The help page is not meant to be an exhaustive list of all our rules. Since this one is a minor topic, difficult to explain, and likely to mislead people into posting more unwanted content, I'd prefer to keep the info off the help page and where it is now (meta, tag wiki).
    – rumtscho Mod
    Feb 20 at 7:14
  • Keep in mind that we will never know how many people decided not to ask any question at all because they thought it was prohibited when it wasn't. For "nutritional labelling" we do answer questions around "food X has this ingredient on the label, what does it mean?" or "I need a food with this cooking quality, what ingredient should I look for?"
    – FuzzyChef
    Feb 20 at 17:05
  • Basically, I'd like to get across to askers that "if the thing you're asking about healthfulness or food composition can be answered using a mainstream reference, we will answer it, but if not, not."
    – FuzzyChef
    Feb 20 at 17:06

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