Lately I've been getting more worried about the scope of our site. First there's the problem with medical and general health questions popping up regularly and second the balance between Fitness and Nutrition.

The first problem was covered in several other Meta questions:

While we all agree these questions are off-topic the fact that we have to bring up these discussions means there's something wrong with our 'image'. Apparently when Google visitors drop onto our site they feel that these are the kind of questions we're made for.

I personally feel that part of this problem is caused by the name of the site. The combination of Fitness and Nutrition changes the semantics of the term Fitness. Rather than a term that's supposed to cover aspects about Sports and Exercise Physiology, it gets a very wellness-ish image.

The second problem was addressed very early on: Does Nutrition really deserve top billing on this site? Kronos summed it up that there are two types of Nutritional questions:

  • Case #1: Nutritional topics are on-topic no matter their subject or background.
  • Case #2: Nutritional topics are on-topic if an only if they relate to strength, endurance, agility, and cardiovascular fitness.

While are highest upvoted questions are luckily of the second type, we get a steady stream of questions of the first.

  • Is coffee good or bad for your health?
  • Does boiling time change an egg's nutritional content?
  • Is spicy food good or bad for you?
  • Is it good not to add salt to daily food
  • How bad is high fructose corn syrup relative to the alternatives?
  • Is better to peel an apple or just eat the whole thing?

Spot a trend? I call these questions Skeptics questions in disguise, because they mainly ask whether something is safe or good to eat. This has A) nothing to do with Fitness or isn't required for getting fit and B) makes for really poor educational value. How could someone use this information to improve their diet, if it doesn't teach them anything?

Which brings me to a secondary problem with the Nutrition tag: there are no experts. While most of the questions get decent answers, almost all of this information is second hand. None of the top users in the Nutrition tag have a professional background in this field, most of the answers are therefore based on their own experience with the topic at hand. I don't doubt that their answers are decent, but I fear they might lack some of the nuances a professional dietitian would add.

So where is this all going to? I think the site needs a serious reconsideration of its scope and image. We currently only have questions about:

  • running (101) + jogging (13)
  • weightlifting (65) + bodybuilding (25) + strength (43)
  • workout (50) + cardio (41) + fitness (38)
  • cycling (6)
  • yoga (6)
  • martial-arts (5)

Basically we only cover running, lifting weights and generic exercise terms, which is a pathetically small slice of all people who exercise. Rather than broadening our scope to allow every question about nutrition, I think we should be focusing on getting more diversity in the types of exercise we cover. I think this would benefit the nutrition questions as well, because these users would have different nutritional requirements than our current user base, bringing in more diversity there as well.

I therefore would like to hear your take on our scope and what should be done to solve it.

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For those interested, here's a discussion between me and Greg on chat –  Ivo Flipse Aug 8 '11 at 17:29
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A general observation: What this site needs is more athletes (in the broadest possible sense of the term) and less random-people-trying-to-get-fit. Athletes have various, specific needs; the random-people want just one thing and the answer is almost always the same (take up a physical activity) with one slight variations. The second category are also those who ask the nutrition/general health questions. How this translates to a motivation in scope, or maybe just in marketing and image, I don't know.. –  VPeric Aug 9 '11 at 11:44
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Gilles from SF&F suggested a poll to determine what should and shouldn't be on-topic –  Ivo Flipse Aug 13 '11 at 12:09
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A poll is an excellent idea. I don't think enough people read these meta discussions to get real input on what people want. –  michael Aug 17 '11 at 14:42
    
You cannot represent all of us. You open a vote, people vote on it, then we can close case. At the End, this site have a title "Nutrition" on it, you can't blame the user asking such question really. After viewing at the FAQ of the main site, I think it didn't explicitly state that question about nutrition must be realted to fitness. So you guys should vote about whether to remove the big word "Nutrition" from the title. After all, you can't represent all the users. –  lamwaiman1988 Sep 1 '11 at 4:10
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9 Answers 9

Quick note here: I see Nathan kicked this question over to Seasoned Advice... Whether or not nutrition stays in-scope for this site, PLEASE do not get in the habit of just shoveling them over to cooking.se - while preparation, flavor, substitution, etc. are all on-topic there, pure nutrition is not.

Upon reading the comments attached to this question, I couldn't help but notice that you've been preemptively closing nutrition questions based on this (currently low-participation) meta thread. I'm sorry, but that's complete bullshit. The site says, "Nutrition" at the top. The FAQ explicitly states that "nutrition and diet" are on-topic. You're kicking your own users in the face, and for what purpose? So far as I can tell, drinking pureed celery isn't something most folks do for the flavor - so kicking him to a site where folks will happily suggest other, similarly-tasteless green purees isn't helping him. If he's lucky, someone will take pity on the question and either give him an effective replacement, or debunk whatever crazy detox theory is motivating him to drink the stuff in the first place... But even if he gets a good answer, it'll be hidden away on a cooking site, not here.

If you can't handle nutrition here, then get rid of it from the scope first.


In response to Dave's comment: I honestly don't think you're anywhere even close to any serious discussion of completely removing "nutrition" from the site (which is why moderators jumping the gun and close new questions as "off-topic" based on this thread seems so ridiculous).

As a sanity-check, consider this: is the single most popular tag on the site. Include a few nutrition-related tags (which, incidentally, are probably more appropriate than the generic "nutrition" in most cases) and you find a whopping 28% of all questions asked on the site fall into that category.

So yeah. The idea that you're gonna help the site by cutting out nutrition is as laughable as suggesting Stack Overflow would be a better site if we excluded C-syntax languages. And misses the point anyway...

This is a problem for which you need a scalpel, not a hatchet

If there are issues with the scope, it's that it is too broad, with questions venturing too far into medical treatment or biology. So refine it! Remember my cooking example? I kinda glossed over the details, but nutrition isn't an out-and-out forbidden topic - it just needs to be in the context of food preparation. "Is salt bad for me?" is a terrible question - on that site or this one. TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR! But how about a question on differences between forms of salt, or replenishing electrolytes after exercise? Surely those have a place...

But I don't really even think the problem is with the scope of this site. Fitness and nutrition, diet and exercise, fuel and fire, input and output... They go hand in hand. A question that's too subjective, too localized, or too vague isn't a problem of scope - it's just a lousy question! You can close it, and provide the author with suggestions for improvement, all without changing the scope of your site at all, much less taking on some schizophrenic "we're the nutrition site that doesn't allow nutrition questions" attitude.

By the way, this issue came up before, in the context of exercise, which is surely on-topic for even a fitness site... And the same advice was given and accepted.

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You're right. Everyone: What's the next step for getting it together and executing such removal of Nutrition from the scope officially? –  Dave Liepmann Aug 31 '11 at 15:13
    
@Dave: started writing a response to that, and... it got long. See my edit. –  Shog9 Aug 31 '11 at 20:47
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the fact that a lot of nutrition questions are asked does not mean that we want those kinds of questions. In particular, see Ivo's statemenst that "the combination of Fitness and Nutrition changes the semantics of the term Fitness. Rather than a term that's supposed to cover aspects about Sports and Exercise Physiology, it gets a very wellness-ish image." Nutrition-only questions are just not useful here outside the context of fitness, and so removing Nutrition but keeping Fitness allows us to keep the good nutrition questions and avoid attracting the bad ones. Does that make sense? –  Dave Liepmann Aug 31 '11 at 21:16
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Scalpel vs. axe: it rather sounds as though you/Ivo wish to narrow the site even beyond that which is implied by "fitness". Per the linked question, Ivo appears to wish for this in preparation for a future expansion into other sports-related topics (gear, rules, strategy, etc), but I don't really follow that logic... If nutrition questions occasionally have problems relating to "strength, endurance, agility, and cardiovascular fitness", then a question on the application of the offside rule in association football would surely be even more problematic... –  Shog9 Aug 31 '11 at 21:47
    
I see your point. I think part of the reason we're looking at sports is that there are plenty of experts in sports: coaches of all levels, players of all levels. Fitness in the context of nutrition walks an incredibly thin line between "one time my aunt told me" and "research study of incredibly limited scope and validity", whereas Fitness in the context of sports and physicality involves a ton of real, applicable knowledge. How about this: what if we just removed Nutrition from the name, but kept nutrition in-scope? That would help the "wellness image" problem that I think we have. –  Dave Liepmann Aug 31 '11 at 21:57
    
My proposal is similar to @Jeff Atwood's removal of "wellness" from the FAQ. Wellness is still in-scope as part of fitness. If we remove Nutrition from the title, nutrition will still be in-scope as part of fitness. There's essentially no change to the FAQ definition. –  Dave Liepmann Sep 1 '11 at 20:44
    
@Dave: I'm not really opposed to this, but I don't know that it really helps anything either. Based on the example questions Ivo listed, and the questions I've seen closed, y'all just need to use proper close reasons for questions that are actually too vague/broad/localized, and maybe do a bit of editing on the rest; I'm really not seeing a deluge of strictly off-topic questions. –  Shog9 Sep 1 '11 at 20:51
    
Do you think the celery/green drink question is on-topic under a definition of nutrition qua fitness? I think it falls into the "what should I feed my two-month-old baby" category per the Area 51 discussion. –  Dave Liepmann Sep 1 '11 at 21:59
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I don't really see the similarity, Dave... Not saying that question wouldn't benefit from a bit of background on why he's after a "green drink" and/or thinks it would benefit him, but it's still a reasonably specific question - if the approach had been, "Please clarify" instead of "this is off-topic", we might not even be having this discussion. Starting off specific and broadening as extraneous details are identified generally produces reasonable questions. –  Shog9 Sep 1 '11 at 23:52
    
The preponderance of questions in any given day is of this sort: "Does celery make you more susceptible to sunburn?" and "what's the healthiest nut?" I think that questions like these do not attract the users we want, and that removing Nutrition from top billing will decrease the number of questions like these. –  Dave Liepmann Sep 4 '11 at 20:26
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Well, it seems I may be in the minority, but I personally feel that nutrition is vital to the site scope. I don't think that you can seriously talk about fitness without also talking about nutrition. I suspect that the majority of people who are concerned about fitness and exercise are trying to (1) lose weight (2) build muscle, or (3) improve athletic performance. Nutrition and diet is a huge factor in all 3 of these endeavors. How can you talk about these things without mentioning protein, calories, or carbohydrates? And if you talk about these things, asking which foods contain these nutrients or which cooking methods alter them seems like a natural next step.

To that end, some of the questions Ivo Flipse specifically mentioned as being off-topic seem fine to me. "How bad is high fructose corn syrup relative to the alternatives?". Makes sense. If someone is trying to lose weight in an effort to get fit, they'd want to know if there are any studies that show that high fructose corn syrup causes weight gain.

I agree that we don't want the site to become simply a database of food facts. But I think removing nutrition from the scope altogether would be a huge mistake.

I also agree that we have a shortage of experts, but I think that may simply be the reality that one has to face when talking about fitness. I think a large number of people who would qualify to be experts - Olympic athletes, competitive lifters, sports team coaches, yoga instructors, licensed dietitians, etc - often have wildly differing opinions. And if you asked a coach or an athlete why they believe a certain fitness approach works, their reason basically boils down to "I tried it and I know a lot of people who tried it and it worked for us". There are sadly very few publicly available scientific studies that say "this is the best road to fitness". Actually, that's my #1 frustration with talking about fitness.

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I'm not saying questions related to losing weight are completely off-topic, however we're straying too far off in a way that they are no longer related to fitness at all. Besides it surely doesn't deserve to be in the site title nor to be the largest tag on the site. –  Ivo Flipse Aug 24 '11 at 21:12
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Just as a reminder:

fit·ness (noun) /ˈfitnis/

  1. The condition of being physically fit and healthy.

Note that the word "healthy" figures prominently there.

Can you even have a complete concept of fitness without including nutrition?

I'm fine with requiring nutrition questions to have some kind of reasonable connection to ...

being physically fit and healthy

... versus, say, random discussion about the merits of food, but ruling them out completely seems irrational.

I like to think of this site as a general advisory, much like the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. These things are all related!

PCFSN's mission is to engage, educate and empower all Americans across the lifespan to adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity and good nutrition.

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Jeff, as I see it, all of the suggestions for removing "Nutrition" from the masthead keep nutrition in-scope. It's that having "nutrition" as part of the title repels athletes and attracts general-case "wellness" questions. It changes the meaning of Fitness to say "fitness and nutrition" instead of "fitness and exercise". I think that "Fitness" alone or "Fitness and Exercise" would preserve the nutrition questions that you (and I!) think are valuable, while making it more clear that our focus is not whether tomatoes are a fruit or a vegetable. What do you think? –  Dave Liepmann Sep 1 '11 at 12:36
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@Dave If the plan was to remove it just from the title, not from the scope, then why was the site decorated with closures under the guise that nutrition's place in the scope is suspect? –  Grace Note Sep 1 '11 at 19:43
    
I can speak to specific examples--for instance, the "green drink with celery" question at issue here I considered out of scope when I made my close vote because it had no reference to nutrition whatsoever. It was just "I don't like celery, what can I do instead?" which looks like a recipe Q to me. –  Dave Liepmann Sep 1 '11 at 19:51
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If I were to guess at other people's motivation in other circumstances, I would say that "nutrition qua nutrition" is different than "nutrition qua fitness". But I hear Shog9's point about "kicking users in the face", which is why I moved to immediately make the change and stop being in limbo. –  Dave Liepmann Sep 1 '11 at 19:53
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The idea of a Fitness and Nutrition site in this format is a good one, but the devil is in the details. Other StackExchange sites are successful because:

  1. There are a group of professionals using the forum. The computer related sites are populated by real experts.
  2. The questions on other sites have real, known answers. Someone has run into your problem before, and are telling you the real solution.
  3. Answers are generally applicable. Different installations of Vista and different pieces of steak tend to work the same way.
  4. Answers are easily testable and verifiable. If you tell me the way to make salad dressing is to combine oil and vinegar, I can test it, and then accept your answer.

This site does not work, because:

  1. It is populated by software engineers (me too!) who are fitness and nutrition hobbyists. Often, we aren't even that good at being hobbyists, or we are relaying information we have read, rather than practiced.
  2. Most of these questions do not have known answers. Even the experts don't really know. They only have hypotheses.
  3. Answers are not generally applicable. One individual differs too much from another.
  4. Answers are often not testable or verifiable at all. Nutrition and weight loss changes may take months or years to show up, and you can't be sure the result was caused by the change. Most fitness answers are not comparable. Did I improve faster by running shorter or longer? I don't know, because I only tried one. People vote on things because they sound right, rather than because they have tested it and know it to be correct.

As far as I can tell, there isn't really a solution. It's the nature of the beast.

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I agree its very problematic that there are no definitive answers, though at least with the exercise related questions I can BS-test it if its lacking any nuance. I can't do the same with nutrition and I don't think there are any users around that could. –  Ivo Flipse Aug 17 '11 at 15:30
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Maybe it makes more sense to ban unverifiable content, which could cover everything, rather than eliminating nutrition, which has both testable and untestable content. –  michael Aug 17 '11 at 16:52
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I think its good to have a clause in the FAQ, similar to Skeptics that you have to back up your answer. I don't want to outright ban anything that has no definitive answer, but answers should at least point out when its not clear and preferably list the factors that have an impact. I'm sure we can come to an agreement on where the border should be 'more or less'. –  Ivo Flipse Aug 17 '11 at 17:14
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@Ivo Yeah, I think placing a higher emphasis on sourcing is a good idea. Perhaps we should open a different question on Meta for this discussion? –  VPeric Aug 18 '11 at 11:56
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I think the issue of site scope is broader than just drawing a line about nutrition, and has to address the definition of fitness as well.

We may not have many professional nutritionists here, but I tend to doubt we have many professional trainers, orthopedists, or physical therapists either. If this isn't the case, it would be useful for professionals in either camp to chime in to let us know that they are around.

We need to look at restricting or redefining the other side of site scope as well: this site is currently Fitness and Nutrition, not Random-Sports and Nutrition, so I don't see a problem with the emphasis on running and weightlifting, as these are core physical skills that contribute to overall fitness as well as to specific sports. I would point out that finding a core group of professionals in different sports is even less likely than doing it for just nutrition and basic training. For example, in this question about ice skating, how many skating coaches do we have here?

So in summary, I think the site scope has be one of:

  1. Restrictive. No sports other than general-purpose "training" and no nutrition question except as relates to athletic performance. This primarily means weight loss and muscle gain. I think in this case we could safely change the name to just Fitness.
  2. Sports-oriented. All physical/sporting activities are allowed, but nutrition is restricted per #1. In this case, the site should be renamed to Sports.
  3. Health & wellness oriented. All nutrition and general wellness questions are on-topic. Physical activities are only on-topic as they pertain to structural or cardiovascular health. In this case, the site should be renamed to Health or Wellness. We'd need to define where the line is for medical questions. Doctors might be a group of experts we'd be recruiting.
  4. Broad. Accept pretty much anything that would fit under #2 or #3. Again, we'd probably want to have some policy on rejecting very personalized medical diagnosis questions.

My personal vote is for #1 because I'm concerned that we cannot be an expert-driven community with any of the other options since they are more broad. We need to define clearly in the FAQ where the line is between e.g. fitness activities and sports - I'd propose that it's a question of general applicability. Strength and endurance apply to all activities; specific sporting techniques do not.

The downside to this restriction is that it will significantly reduce the number of questions that we receive, which is something that we're already struggling with according to our Area 51 stats.

Update: during conversation, @IvoFlipse proposed the following list of topics which seems to comprise a nice compromise between #1 and #2. These are

  • Structure and function of exercising muscle
  • Metabolism and hormonal control
  • Neural control of exercising muscle
  • Energy Expenditure and fatigue
  • The cardiovascular system and its control
  • The respiratory system and its regulation
  • Cardiorespiratory response to acute exercise
  • Principles of exercise training
  • Adaptations to resistance training
  • Adaptations to aerobic and anaerobic training
  • Exercise in hot and cold environments
  • Exercise at altitude
  • Training for Sport
  • Body composition and nutrition for sport
  • Ergogenic aids and sport
  • Children and adolescents in sport and exercise
  • Aging in sport and exercise
  • Sex differences in sport and exercise
  • Prescription of exercise for health and fitness
  • Cardiovascular disease and physical activity
  • Obesity, diabetes and physical activity

Note that these are essentially the index from Physiology of Sports And Exercise, and need to be paraphrased or otherwise rewritten.

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In that case I'm definitely for #2, I think Fitness in itself is a ridiculous term as it doesn't define anything. I agree its just as much of a problem to get skating coaches on here as it is to find dietitians, but I'd rather work harder to cover different kinds of exercise than different kinds of food or these 'soft' wellness questions. –  Ivo Flipse Aug 8 '11 at 16:15
    
@Ivo I disagree with being too broad only on the activity side of things. Food choices are relevant to everybody, but ice skating technique is interesting and relevant to only a very few... –  Greg Aug 8 '11 at 16:17
    
Also, I think there's a lot of overlap between different kinds of Sports, if we restrict ourselves to just one, we would get overlap with every other Sports related topic. Would a soccer player have to ask their diet questions on their own site? I'm sure there won't be much difference between his question and that of a 10k runner. –  Ivo Flipse Aug 8 '11 at 16:18
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The problem with being broad with food choices is that its ridiculously broad. We're already getting questions about 'hot drinks without caffeine' and the effects of zinc deficiency. These have nothing to do with Fitness or even trying to be fit. Questions about protein shakes are equally true for a weight lifter as they are for a runner. –  Ivo Flipse Aug 8 '11 at 16:20
    
I agree that we shouldn't restrict to a single sport. It's a question whether to allow any sports, or just core "fitness" activities. So I don't mean to include competitive running or Olympic weightlifting as ends to themselves, so much as general activities that can help anyone in any sport (or just bolster the fitness of someone who does not participate in a sport). Agree that some of the food questions are getting a little silly. –  Greg Aug 8 '11 at 16:22
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A possible name for #1 could be "Fitness and Exercise" or "Exercise and Fitness" to better represent the focus on exercise and technique rather than general wellness and fitness. –  VPeric Aug 8 '11 at 20:59
    
@IvoFlipse Fitness doesn't define anything? Now you are being too emotional. Will you admit that you are having a bias against Fitness itself and the nutritional concept? –  lamwaiman1988 Sep 21 '11 at 2:19
    
@Greg your suggestion is vague because you have 4 suggestion for site scope redefinition. If one upvotes your answer, how can we know which one he/she is upvoting? –  lamwaiman1988 Sep 21 '11 at 2:22
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I personally think we should remove "Nutrition" from the title. We will still get nutrition related questions, but since the title would match our URL ("Fitness") they will more naturally be the types of nutrition related questions we want.

I also suggest we change the FAQ to reflect the types of nutrition related questions we want. I.e. nutritional information in regards to a specific fitness goal.

The general nutrition questions and answers don't really change, and the experts are in flux about different aspects of nutrition either due to faulty research or later accounting for certain things that were not thought of before. But, in general the principles of good nutrition don't change whether we are in the harvest moon or in a day that ends with 'y'.

By removing top billing for nutrition, we can more safely avoid the "skeptics" questions, or the basic nutrition questions asked again and again, repeatedly, ad nauseum.

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Nutrition does not produce useful questions. As others have said, both the questions and answers are usually vague and not definitive.

On the opposite side, it's a little silly to me that sports questions would be considered such a change in scope. Consider: "fitness" out of the context of sports is just a collection of exercise science, lifting and running. (We get the sport of bodybuilding, too, due to proximity to lifting.) The answers are repetitive because there's really not that much to say in so narrow a space.

In contrast, fitness in the context of sports creates all sorts of interesting questions about how to ideally train, avoid injury, and prepare for competition in a given sport. The interaction between science, fitness and sport seems to me to be more productive.

To me, having nutrition but not sports is as if Stack Overflow's scope included assembly code but no high-level languages. Sports (high-level/scripting languages) are the most common implementation of actual fitness (programming).

Fitness without sports is an antiseptic, health-only practice. Fitness + sports is exciting, engaging, social and deep.

Update - What was On-Topic When F&N was in Area 51?

The trend from the Area 51 on-topic/off-topic votes is crystal clear to me. I believe this is all the nutrition-related example questions:

Nutrition as it relates to exercise is part of the scope. Nutrition on its own is not, and as far as I can tell, never has been.

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The flip side of this is that fitness without discussions on related nutrition is incomplete at best. –  Greg Aug 24 '11 at 14:45
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You're right, I just think that the nutrition will trickle in as a valid side topic. Currently, nutrition qua nutrition questions fall into the "Skeptics questions in disguise" category as described in the third set of bullets from the Question. Nutrition-as-relates-to-sports-and-fitness, now those Q&As are definitive and actionable. –  Dave Liepmann Aug 24 '11 at 15:00
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Please do not remove nutrition from the site. It's a very interesting topic and fitness and nutrition should always be seen as one.

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First of all, I feel we need to drop the "Nutrition" from the name of the site. Right now. As Ivo points out, it attracts the wrong kind of users and we don't have any experts. Finally, nutrition, as a general term, isn't that closely connected to fitness (consider, most athletes just need enough protein and calories in general and that's it; whether fish A has more vitamin Z than fish B is completely irrelevant to most of us). A nutrition.stackexchange.com would be a better place for most such questions. The questions we consider relevant are already getting asked (eg. this one, which someone linked to in chat) and will be asked.


About the scope, I think our major problem is actually marketing and the way we appear to new users (which is why the "Nutrition" should be dropped). I currently see our scope as: anything related to exercise, which includes exercising and exercise under various circumstances (at altitudes, hot/cold environments; for children, older people; with limited equipment or other constraints). That means that "How to train for movement X in sport Y" is within our scope. I however wouldn't want to expand the site to be a catch all for all possible sports, because I don't want to read about the history of sport A, the rules of sport B or the best shoes for sport C. I'm not sure how to consider questions related to technique, though. Note, equipment is a bit of an iffy area, but I'd like us to accept equipment questions for "core fitness activities" (as someone put it) like weightlifting, running and maybe cycling, but something like "What kind of chalk should I use for rockclimbing?" would be somewhat of a gray area (then again, if people answer it, why not -- sort of like code golf questions on StackOverflow). I'd also like to repeat my proposal from a comment above, that the name of the site be changed to "Fitness and Exercise". We'd be able to keep the site name, at least.

In short, I feel we already cover all possible questions related to exercise and we just need to market this better. Marketing is probably another question, but perhaps getting a few people from various sports to ask about exercises for their specific post (even if they answer it themselves, I guess) would be a good idea.

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I agree the gear questions are a bit iffy, though as long as they are required to perform a kind of sports I'd say they are on-topic. But the focus should be on performing sports, which means questions about history are definitely out of the question. –  Ivo Flipse Aug 15 '11 at 19:44
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Exercising under various circumstances is a great way to attract some new questions. I especially like that you have children and older people listed. That would be an awesome niche to tap into as exercise and fitness should be for everyone. –  Matt Chan Aug 16 '11 at 3:03
    
I think the difficulty in explaining technique is the difference between the "how" and the "why" behind it. The "why" of every technique can be abstracted out into one answer with a common theme (i.e. muscles, physiology, and so on). Having an expert explaining "how" would be better as long as there is some applicability to whatever the focus of the question is. –  Matt Chan Aug 16 '11 at 3:20
    
@Matt Yeah, I swiped the old people and children (that whole parenthesis, really) from Greg's post above. I tried to summarize the list somehow, though I don't think "exercising under various circumstances" does it justice. –  VPeric Aug 16 '11 at 6:51
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