Food nutrition research is a great source of data. In no time thousands and thousands of values can be generated and fed into a statistics program. Every nutrient is a variable. Other variables identify subjects, date, day of the week, height, weight, etc. All one needs to add to this is something which identifies the type of subject. Are the subjects just normal, overweight, diabetic, athletic, have cancer or some other illness, again, etc…?
There are good statistical packages into which data can be fed. SPSS, SAS come to mind immediately. There are also open source (read free) packages that can be used as well.
For students in nutrition wanting to explore research a good nutrient calculation software combined with a good statistical package is a must.
Teachers can also use these as the basis of a multi-term course in nutrition research.
All kinds of questions about nutrition need to be explained and clarified when one is doing research. There is no room for ambivalence.
Enjoy! it is a truly challenging field.