Explore the environmental and biological factors that regulate our body weight.
Many complex factors are involved in the regulation of body weight and control of food intake. This course explores how body weight is influenced by external and internal stimuli, and how these stimuli interact or influence one another. By the end of the course you will be able to discuss the meaning of energy homeostasis, describe the physiological factors that influence hunger and fullness, explain how environmental stimuli influence eating, and summarize how our genes interact with the environment to influence body weight.
This course is suitable for everyone from individuals interested in learning more about their personal health to those with a background in basic biological processes who what to expand their knowledge. No prior experience or qualifications is necessary.
Alathea completed this course, spending 5 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.
The course is well designed to give a very short introduction to a very complex topic. Week 1 looks at environmental influences and learned behaviours which influence eating patterns. Weeks 2 and 3 look at biological factors: the role of hormones, the nervous system, genetics and epigenetics. As someone who last studied biology in school years ago, I found these two weeks challenging but very interesting, and look forward to following up this subject in the future.
A couple of minor problems could be ironed out to improve future courses, eg making the various diagrams available as slides to download rather than simply displaying them behind the lecturer.