So Are questions regarding the assessment of nutritional products considered on-topic? was for some reason closed as a duplicate of Should title be "Fitness" instead of "Fitness and Nutrition"? which in no way answers what is on-topic and what isn't.

Then there's Are questions regarding the assessment of nutritional products considered on-topic? which also does nothing to really give a finite answer to a new user.

Looking at the site and main page it seems very unclear. I get what's definitely on-topic, that's easy. But where the line for the off-topic is gets incredibly blurry.


What are side effects of excessive kefir usage? -- Dangers of kefir stated for weight loss got closed.

Are commonly-accepted health risks of steroids real? -- Health risks of Steroids with no stated fitness reason is open.

How dangerous are steroids (injections)? -- Another almost duplicate question on Steroids with no stated fitness reason is open.

Are there health risks associated with protein shakes? -- Are there health risks associated with Protein Shakes, no stated fitness reason is open.

Meal Replacement Shakes - Why aren't they healthy to consume for all nutrition? -- Meal replacement shakes with no stated fitness reason is open.

Is egg white powder a good alternative to whey protein? -- Egg white powder with no stated fitness is closed.

How to avoid Creatine dependence? -- Creatine alternatives with no stated fitness is open.


On the Graphic Design Stack Exchange for topics that are borderline we have established guidelines posters must follow when asking:

I'd really encourage the established members and moderators to decide what is on-topic and off-topic regarding the nutrition, create guidelines, and enforce them.

2 Answers 2


Seems like the common denominator here is that the open ones are several years old. Likely asked before certain guidelines were in place.

These days we vote to close questions about nutrition, unless they relate directly to exercise. I haven't been here long enough to have seen the open ones at the time of question, but it definitely seems like certain rules were introduced after they we asked.

  • That could be but there's recent oddities as well such as: fitness.stackexchange.com/questions/19716/… which is open, while this one I feel should be open was closed: fitness.stackexchange.com/questions/24020/… --- it talks about weight loss and walking. Its more on topic than a majority of them.
    – Ryan
    Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 18:53
  • And if you are correct then it still needs some sort of guideline don't you agree?
    – Ryan
    Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 18:53
  • @Ryan - I agree about the first one. I've issued a close vote. The second one I feel should remain closed. Questions on nutrition are off-topic if it does not relate directly to exercise. The asker there explicitly says he intends NOT to exercise. That's clearly off topic.
    – Alec
    Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 19:07
  • @Ryan - But overall, I think that some posts are falling through the cracks because there is a pretty odd ratio of question-askers to users with enough reputation to vote to close/delete posts. If you want to contribute, you don't need a whole lot of reputation before you can issue close votes.
    – Alec
    Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 19:08
  • He also says he walks a lot and is losing weight. So while not exercising in a traditional sense thats absolutely physical fitness just like my construction worker friends that end up walking 3 or 4 miles every day while on job sites (one uses a fitbit now) and have to figure out appropriate food to maintain their weight as a result.
    – Ryan
    Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 19:10

Some of the ones that you point out as being open, have been subsequently closed. This suggests that they were posts that slipped through the cracks at the time of scope shift (June of 2012), and have never been gone back and closed.

Here is the meta post announcing the scope shift, and if you look at the scope tag on mega you will see the discussions, with some interesting posts by Shog9 and other CM's.

How can I help?

Flagging. If you don't have enough rep to vote to close, you can flag for a moderators attention. You can also do both if you have the rep.

Editing. If the question is marginal but could easily be on topic, you can edit and leave a comment for the original poster that if it changes the intent of the question it can be rolled back.

Remember, the moderators help to enforce the rules that the community sets, they are not the end-all be-all solution. If you wonder why a question is still open, edit/vote to close and/or flag. All of these will raise the awareness and prompt some actions being taken as a result.

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