WRTG: Obesity Research

IC Library Print & Media resources

Selected Subject Searches

(Click to run targeted Subject searches in the IC Library catalog)

Obesity--United States
Obesity--Congresses  [article collection]
Obesity in adolescence
Obesity in children
Obesity--Physiological aspects
Diabetes--Nutritional aspects
Obesity--Psychological aspects
Obesity--Social aspects

Body weight
Body weight--Health aspects
Body weight--Regulation
Overweight children
Overweight persons
Overweight women
[note: there is a Subject Heading "Overweight men" but we have no books using it]
Food Food consumption Food habits--Social aspects
Food habits--United States
Food preferences

Food industry and trade--United States
Food industry and trade--Moral and ethical aspects
Convenience foods
Eating disorders
Eating disorders in adolescence
Eating disorders in children
Eating disorders--Social aspects
Eating disorders--Treatment
Compulsive eating
Anorexia nervosa

Body image
Body image in children
Body image in adolescence
Body image in men
Body image in women
Body image--Social aspects
Body image--United States
Body image disturbance
Body, Human--Social aspects
Body, Human--Social aspects United States History
Beauty, Personal
Beauty, Personal--Psychological aspects

Exercise for men--Psychological aspects
Exercise for women--Psychological aspects
Exercise--Psychological aspects
Physical fitness
Physical fitness for children
Physical fitness for men
Physical fitness for women
Physical fitness--Psychological aspects

IC Library Databases (Articles)

Recommended Databases

General OneFile :
     The most user-friendly of our comprehensive databases, covering almost any topic from a wide range of disciplinary angles and offering lots of full text.  Use the default Subject search to find the best subject heading for your topic.  Among the options are Obesity, Childhood Obesity, Adolescent Obesity, Obesity Gene, Overweight Persons, and Weight Loss. When you find a good one be sure to look at the "Related Subjects" to see if there's something even better.  
     When you settle on a subject heading, open the "Subdivisions" link below it.  Most General OneFile subject searchs produce very large retrievals and the "subdivisions" help you narrow your search to a particular aspect: Cause of, Demographic Aspects, Drug Therapy, Genetic Aspects, Health Aspects, Physiological Aspects, Prevention, Psychological Aspects, Research, Risk Factors, Social Aspects and Statistics, to name only a few.
      If the best available subdivision is still too broad, open it and add your own Keywords in the "Search within these results" slot at the upper left.

ProQuest Research Library :
     Another comprehensive database with substantial full text.  Use the "Thesaurus" (above the search slots) to preview what Subject Headings are available.  Subect searching can be a more efficient way to search than with only Keywords, since it guarantees that the articles retrieved actually be about the Subject--not just use a particular word.
     Combining Subject Headings may be you best bet: Obesity and Weight Control, Obesity and Children & Youth, Obesity and Public Health, Obesity and Diet, Obesity and Exercise.  Of course you can also add Keywords for better focus.
     Note that to the right of your search results you can limit your retrieval by "Source Type" (including Magazines, Newspapers, Scholarly Journals),  "Document Type," (including Cover Story, Editorial, or Interview), "Document Feature" (including Photographs, Illustrations), and "Location."
     Above each set of articles you retrieve ProQuest will display related Subject searches to help either broaden or narrow your focus.
     User Advisory: ProQuest is fussy about entering Subject searches in the designated search slot. If your subject is a person, enter the name--last name first--in the "Person" slot; if a named group of any kind--Microsoft, the Catholic Church, Radiohead, the New York Mets--enter it in "Co/Org"; if a place enter it in "Location."

     My favorite of our Health & Medicine resources.  At the home page click on the "CINAHL Headings" at the top left.  The main CINAHL Headings for this topic are Obesity and Attitude to Obesity.   For either you can click on "Explode" to the right and open a selection of handy subheadings such as Complications, Drug therapy, Familial and Genetic, Organizations, Prevention and Control, Psychosocial Factors, Prognosis, Symptoms, Surgery, and Trends. To combine your Heading with one or more of these subheadings just check the box next to the subheading and then at the top right click the "Search Database" button.  This allows you to run nicely targeted searches without ever typing your terms into the home page search slots.  Be sure to take a look at the Psychosocial Factors--less biology, more psychology and culture.

Academic Search Premier
     Like General OneFile and Proquest, a large comprehensive database with ample full text.  Note that you can browse the "Subject Terms" (above the search slots) and once you find a likely Subject Heading for your topic you can "explode" (double click) it for a list of related Subject terms.  Among those available here are Obesity, Overweight Persons, Weight Loss, Obesity in Children, Obesity in Adolescence, Obesity in Women, and Morbid Obesity.
User Advisory: Note that after you have retrieved a set of articles you can keep adding Keywords above or suggested Subject Headings listed on the left (though note that these Subject Searches are added to your old search--they will narrow your results.  Also note that with each retrieval set there is a "Geography" button on the left where you can narrow the results by country--for instance, the United States--as well as "Source Types" where you can choose to view only the "academic" (scholarly) journal articles.

PsycINFO :  
     The American Psychological Association use their own Subject vocabulary (called "Descriptors"), so a visit to the "Thesaurus" below the search slots is a good idea. If you find an article on exactly what you want, be sure to check the assigned "Descriptors" on the right of the citation for more ideas about useful search terms.  The Descriptors most relevant here are Obesity, Obesity (Attitudes toward), Overweight, Diets, Weight Loss, Weight Gain, and Eating Disorders.
     PsycINFO deals only with scholarly literature, much of it assuming a graduate-level understanding of the discipline.  But among these you may find interesting, accessible articles on your topic.  
     User Advisory: If what you're searching for are "journal articles only" in "English," it's a good idea to check those boxes (below the search slots).  And note that you can also limit your retrievals to a Population--male or female--and an Age--Childhood, Adolescence, Young Adulthood, etc.

ScienceDirect :
     Because it’s a large database with a great deal of full text, the absence of Subject searching means that your Keyword searches will often retrieve large sets of articles, many of which mention but don’t discuss your search term(s). One way around this is to limit your initial search to the “Abstract Title Keyword” field. Once you have found an article that sounds on-target, click the “Related Articles” link beneath the citation. This will open a range of articles on the same topic.  
     Obesity” retrieves so many articles, many of them about very sophisticated bio-chemical lab work, that you should probably add words such as “epidemic” or “crisis” or “America” or “dieting” in order to focus on obesity as a social/cultural phenomenon.
     Also note: The default date range is 10 years, but you can choose any date range you wish.
     Also also note: it's a good idea to uncheck the "All books" box below the search slots, if you are in fact looking for articles.

CQ Researcher
     A weekly publication from Congressional Quarterly. Each report (approx. 20 pages) examines a single issue relevant to American public policy, including health, criminal justice, internaional affairs, education, the environment, technology, and the economy. The non-partisan analysis always includes a "Background," "Current Situation," "Outlook," and "Pro/Con" section, as well as numerous charts and graphs of statistical data, maps, and a bibliography for further reading.
     Issues from the last ten years include "Obesity Epidemic," "Diet and Health," and Eating Disorders."

SocINDEX with Full Text :
     As the name implies, an excellent database for social issues. Click on the "Subject Terms" link above the search slots to find which Subject Headings will work here. Double click any Heading for a list of broader, narower, and related Subject Terms.  These include Obesity, Obesity in Children, Obesity in Adolescence, Overweight Persons, and Eating Disorders.

     This database covers a wide range of scholarly journals in most disciiplines, always beginning with the first issue of each one.  This provides 100% full text access to articles from not only the first half of the 20th century but even the second half of the 19th (useful if you wished to compare veterans issues today with those of previous generations).  Be aware, however, that at the other end of the date range articles don't appear in JSTOR until at least 2-3 years after publication. Also be aware that for 100% full text you must change the setting from "include links to external content" to "include only content I can access."
     JSTOR offers only a Keyword search of its complete full text, so retrievals are large, but the relevancy ranking does a good job of putting the strongest matches on the first few pages.  You'll find many good current articles on Obesity here, but what is unique to JSTOR is the ability to target articles from the late 19th and early 20th centuries and compare how the issue was treated then and now (use the date range limit to target older materials--and consider searching in just the Title field as a way of focusing on articles where obesity is the main topic).

Project Muse :
     Although a smaller database, Project Muse complements JSTOR. LIke JSTOR it provides 100% full text of mostly scholarly journals, but its coverage is entirely current--mainly spanning the last 10-15 years. Although all articles in Porject Muse are assigned Library of Congress Subject Headings, you cannot enter a Subject search as such.  Your options are to  "Browse Subject Headings" to the right of the search slots or enter a Subject Heading in the "All fields except text" field.    And as with JSTOR it's a good idea to limit your search to "Articles Only" by checking that box beneath the search slots--to weed out reviews of books on your topic.

Where's the Full Text for this Article??

     Few databases offer 100% full text.  Most retrieve a mix of full text articles and article "citations"--article title, author(s), publication info, and usually an "abstract" or one-prargraph summary of the content.  When a citation makes you want the full text, look below it for this icon: 
     Clicking "GETIT" checks (almost all) the IC Library's other databases to see if any offers the full text of the article--or if the Library has a print subscription to the journal in which the article appeared. 

  • "GETIT" will usually find the full text in another database and open it in a new window.  
  • If none of our databases can access the full text but we have a print subsciption to the journal, "GETIT" will retrieve the Library catalog record for the journal so that you can see if the date of the article falls within the date range we have on hand.
  • If full text is not available from any database or from a print subsciption, "GETIT" will provide a link to the IC Library's Interlibrary Loan.  Log in (same as your IC e-mail)--and set up your account if you've never used it before.  "GETIT" will have populated the article request form with all the necessary information and you simply submit the request elecrtonically.  Most articles are supplied as digital files and will be sent to you via e-mail when they arrive.

Contact Us

picture of Dr. Brian Saunders

Dr. Brian Saunders

Humanities Librarian
(607) 274-1198

Search Argos

And Don't Just Take My Word For It . . .

Check out the Health Promotion Subject Guide from Laura Kuo, Health Sciences Librarian.

Web Resources

Selected Web Sites

  • CDC Childhood Overweight and Obesity: Note the "Child and Teen BMI Calculator" under Defining Childhood Obesity, as well as all the information filed under the breezy heading "Tips for Parents."

Web Directories

     Web Directories differ from search engines like Google in that all the online resources have been selected and annotated by editors, thereby promising a much higher degree of quality control. 

Web Search Engines

  Google Advanced Search: When doing research on the Web, always use the Adanced Search version of Google. This not only provides more flexibility in entering search terms, but more importantly it allows you to target the Web domains that are likely to provide the most authoritative information.
Under "Need More Tools?" you will find the "Search within a site or domain" slot. You may enter only one domain at a time, but it's worth targeting each of the three domains likely to supply the best information: colleges and universities (enter the "edu" tag), nonprofit organizations (enter the "org" tag), and the United States government (enter the "gov" tag).

Ask.com:  As you type your search, Ask.com may display a selection of searches related to your terms, any of which you may choose.  Within retrieval sets there may also be a helpful display of "Related Searches," often including Pro and Con categories for controversial topics.  And a new feature called "Ask Q&A" can connect you to sites that answer specific questions on your topic.  Start with a search on "obesity."

Citation Help

MLA Citation

MLA is the citation style used by most disciplines in the Humanities. Here is my guide to the latest (2016) update of the MLA style.