Nutrition 10, commonly referred to by its course abbreviation NUT 10, is a popular classic at UC Davis. The class is so popular, in fact, that it's the largest nutrition class in the nation, with over 2,000 students taking it each year. The class is regularly taught by nutrition wizard Liz Applegate, who also made the extensive and illustrated course reader. As of 2005, the class gives you 3 units with GE Credit in SciEng.

The class covers the basics of nutrition, answering questions like "Why do I need to eat fiber?" And "What is an amino acid?"

Textbook Controversy

The required course reader, Nutrition Basics for Better Health and Performance, (Applegate, L. 2004 Kendall-Hunt) costs $75.90+tax and you cannot sell it back. Dr. Applegate, the teacher and the author of the text, requires that you tear out some pages and fill them out for homework (for the "Diet Project" section of the course). She forbids you from using photocopies to fill out the relevant sections. That means that, like it or not, you HAVE to buy the $76 reader and you will not be able to sell it once you're done with it. Many students consider this to be a scam to extort money out of students and pad the professor's pockets.

  • A scam similar to this is when a course releases a new edition of a textbook every year and makes the newest edition the required reading. This is often done despite the fact that the newer edition is newer in name only and not content. However, this is easier to circumvent than the Applegate Scam because the old books are usually a passable substitute for the new ones; you can just ignore the requirement of the most recent edition.
  • How much of a profit does Liz Applegate make off the text and has sh e considered students' concerns regarding this practice? What is her justification for not allowing photocopied versions of the "Diet Project" pages?
    • this is a really good question. I believe authors of text books do not make the same profit as novels. I believe the publishing company gets most of the money. In fact, I beleive many professors who write text books do not make royalties at all? I could be wrong though. It would be great if someone had some expert opinion on this.

Someone sent her an email 9/16 asking about the reader. The response was:

Check out the web site:
for info on the class

There is a required reader for the course that contains a project
that is submitted for credit and quizzes submitted for a grade boost.

Dr. A
Wanting a more specific answer...
Thank you for the website link Professor Applegate, but couldn't me and my friends just
buy one reader and photocopy the required pages?  $90.00 for a reader that we can't sell
back is a little steep for most of our budgets.
An announcement will be made in class regarding financial difficulties and the book.
Until then you will need to hold off.

see you in a few weeks.

Dr. A

I emailed her about this, as well.

My first email:

Dr. Applegate,

As it comes time to being selling my textbooks from the end of the quarter, I've thought a bit about my Nutrition 10 reader and I have a question. What was your justification for not allowing students to photocopy the relevant Diet Project sections of the text and use those to turn in? If we were allowed to photocopy these sections we would be able to sell the textbook and save a significant amount of money.

—Philip Neustrom

Her response (giving her reason — cheating issues)

As explained in class, unfortunately many students turn in other students previous work through copies — by submitting original forms this is minimized. The course is offered 4 times a year with over 2000 students and this form of cheating has been a major problem.

I've worked directly with the bookstore to reduce the cost of the book and certainly understand the expense of college text books for students.

Dr. A

I don't see how an original form is any less prone to being copied than a non-original form. I could simply look at someone's previous Diet Project and copy their figures onto my new form. After all, it's very easy to tell pen/pencil from photocopied text.

I'm guessing that it's hard to imagine a situation in which a student would photocopy a 'clean' set of forms without having access to an also filled out set of forms from which they could also copy results from. If you provided the forms for print off your website you would be able to significantly cut the cost of the reader for the over 2000 students that take the class a year. Further, the forms would be in a convenient location that wouldn't encourage students to participate with students who had already completed the assignment.

—Philip Neustrom

Media Coverage


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There are plenty of books that cost more and almost all professors that have wrote a textbook for a particular subject make their students taking a class on that subject buy that book (I am specifically calling it a textbook because reader implies it is small and unprofessionally done. This is a large textbook on spirals. While textbook prices are ridiculous in general, this one is no worse than most textbooks of similar length and quality). However, I am not defending all of her practices. I think the only unethical part of this book is that it can not be bought used or resold because the book has worksheets. However, she does offer a free, but more time consuming remedy. I believe this time consuming remedy(through vague memory of a friend who tried it for one day and gave up) goes something like this. You have to meet Applegate at a specific time every week in which you photocopy the worksheet in front of her the day before its due. She sets the time, and you cant do them all at once you have to do one per appointment in order for some monitoring purposes. I still think this rule is just plain silly. its one thing that a professor makes you buy their book and its another when they force students to keep buying it knew so they can cell more books (since used books are in circulation and do not give profits to the author) -MattHh

2007-02-16 22:11:46   This page seems to have been the source for an aggie story. —JasonAller

2007-02-17 00:32:18   One thing that I think rarely gets mentioned is used book market. When you sell your book back to the stores you get next to nothing and the store sells the used book near the price of a new one. So, you get a little money back, the bookstore reaps a huge profit, and publisher and author get nothing. That's why they put out new editions or sell spiral books that don't work as well on the used market. —JimEvans

2008-08-13 16:15:50   Welcome to the wonderful world of the university level bookstores... —SunjeetBaadkar

2008-09-10 01:42:00   the book its a scam for sure. why the hell cant i sell this book ?!?! by the way my quizzes were just denied becuase i didnt staple them, and this bitch was charging 1 dolar a staple. WTF. she also told me to " GET THE HELL OUT OF MY ROOM " becuase i didnt wannted to pay her.. ARGGGGGGGGGG IDINDTGETMYGRADEBOOST!!!


2009-01-16 15:41:35   So this Ms. Applegate probably makes a royalty of about 10% list price for each book she sells. Doing the math that puts her making $7.50 a book for at her count at least 2000 students a year. So by requiring new books for each student she is scamming them out of $15,000 a year. What a nice lady. —jamesdifilippo

2009-01-17 10:57:06   I can't believe people are complaining about a $75 book. For a science textbook, I consider that cheap (anyone science major would agree). And not to defend Dr. Applegate, but if I were in her place, I'd be doing the same thing. Why assign a more expensive nutrition textbook that someone else wrote when she could create her own at a lower price that she knows like the back of her hand? Not to mention that she was the nutritional adviser for the Sac Kings, helped to implement the idea of salads existing in fast food places to deter improper nutrition, and has been dedicating her career to education...god forbid she try to make an extra 10 grand a year. However, if I was in her place, I'd have the students have the textbook separate from the worksheets so that they are able to sell the textbook back and/or have other students be able to buy used ones. But that is just my $0.02... —SunjeetBaadkar

2009-08-20 23:42:31   Based on this alone, I decided to avoid nut 10 if it's taught by her. —WengFF

2009-11-25 18:34:44   It is almost impossible to fail this course due to the assortment of extra credit opportunities which lift your grade by a full letter and the mandatory session to have your "homework" corrected so you always get 100% on it unless you don't turn it in. These also happen to be the two things that you "need" to buy the textbook for. The extra credit is in the form of a worksheet at the end of each chapter and the homework is a diet project to keep track of what you eat for a few days. There is no reason I couldn't have copied this information over from someone else who completed the class since we get them all back thus I hardly see how it reduces cheating, it just makes it a little bit more time intensive. Not to mention that if you photocopy someone else's work the written part will clearly be a product of the photocopy so it wouldn't be difficult to prove that cheating occurred.

In other words: she is making up an excuse to justify her refusal to let people sell old textbooks. I wouldn't have as much of a problem with her policy if she just came out honestly and said that she's in it for the money. If she were really concerned about cheating from previous classes she could do something much simpler and cost effective for the students. Provide the worksheets in a download on the course website but change the content of them every quarter OR don't return them at the end of the course. Many professors who reuse exam questions won't let students take copies of them at any point in order to reduce cheating. She could easily do that instead.

It's the lying to justify her scam that I find so obscene. —OliviaY