Informatics has become an essential component of research in the past few decades, capitalizing on the efficiency and power of computation to improve the knowledge gained from increasing quantities and types of data. While other fields of research such as genomics are well represented in informatics resources, nutrition remains underrepresented. Nutrition is one of the most integral components of human life, and it impacts individuals far beyond just nutrient provisions. For example, nutrition plays a role in cultural practices, interpersonal relationships and body image. Despite this, integrated computational investigations have been limited due to challenges within nutrition informatics (nutri-informatics) and nutrition data. The purpose of this review is to describe the landscape of nutri-informatics resources available for use in computational nutrition research and clinical utilization. In particular, we will focus on the application of biomedical ontologies and their potential to improve the standardization and interoperability of nutrition terminologies and relationships between nutrition and other biomedical disciplines such as disease and phenomics. Additionally, we will highlight challenges currently faced by the nutri-informatics community including experimental design, data aggregation and the roles scientific journals and primary nutrition researchers play in facilitating data reuse and successful computational research. Finally, we will conclude with a call to action to create and follow community standards regarding standardization of language, documentation specifications and requirements for data reuse. With the continued movement toward community standards of this kind, the entire nutrition research community can transition toward greater usage of Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability and Reusability principles and in turn more transparent science.
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