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Online Course

Nutrition and Health: Macronutrients and Overnutrition

Wageningen University via edX

Overview

There is an overload of information about nutrition and health, but what is the truth and what can you do to improve the health of your patients? Learn more about nutrition and how our diet profoundly impacts our current and future health. This course addresses the relationship between nutrition and human health, with a focus on health problems related to overnutrition.

In this course, Professor Sander Kersten from Wageningen University & Research will explain about the composition of the three macronutrients: carbohydrates, fat and protein. You will learn about their role in the body (how they are absorbed, stored and metabolized for energy) and their impact on our health. Moreover, this course will cover energy homeostasis and the regulation of body weight. You will learn about overweight and obesity and strategies to improve and combat these problems of overnutrition. Finally, the course will make you familiar with nutritional research and research methodologies.

This course is especially useful for health care professionals and people working in the food industry with a non-nutrition background. You will develop a critical mindset by learning to better weigh and interpret information about food, nutrition and health.

This course, is part of the Food, Nutrition and Health Professional Certificate Program of Wageningen University & Research. Did you already complete Nutrition and Health: Micronutrients and Malnutrition? That is the other course in the Food, Nutrition and Health Professional Certificate Program. To explore other learning opportunities about nutrition, have a look at the courses:

  • Food Risks
  • Human Microbiome
  • Nutrition and Cancer
  • Nutrition, Heart Disease and Diabetes

Syllabus

Module 1: Basic Principles
In the first module you will be introduced into the basics of nutritional science
and you will learn about the different study designs that are used in nutrition
research.

Module 2: Carbohydrates
In this module you will be introduced to the basics of carbohydrates.

Module 3: Carbohydrates and Health (verified learner only)
In this module we will focus on the health effects of one specific group of
carbohydrates: sugar.

Module 4: Lipids
This module will teach you the basics of fats or lipids.

Module 5: Lipids and Health (verified learner only)
This module will start out by discussing cardiovascular (heart) disease and risk
factors for cardiovascular disease, and will go on to explore the effects of fatty acids
on cholesterol.

Module 6: Proteins and Health
The module starts with the basics of dietary protein, and will go on to address the
question of what specific health effects can be attributed to dietary protein.

Module 7: Energy homeostasis sand energy balance
In this module we will look at the balance between food (energy) intake and exergy
expenditure.

Module 8: Weight management
This module concentrates on weight management and the topic of obesity.

Module 9: Nutrition and Sports (verified learner only)
In this extra module we look at the impact of nutrition on exercise

_ If you like this course, you might also like: _

  • Nutrition and Health: Micronutrients and Malnutrition
  • Food Risks
  • Human Microbiome
  • Nutrition and Cancer
  • Nutrition, Heart Disease and Diabetes

Taught by

Sander Kersten

Reviews

4.7 rating, based on 179 reviews

Start your review of Nutrition and Health: Macronutrients and Overnutrition

  • Msatanove is taking this course right now.

    Sander Kersten really knows his stuff. His English is not perfect, but he is clear. And he has a quirky sense of humour. I particularly like that he presents a very balanced view of controversial subjects. This is a very good course for anybody wanting basics in nutrition science and some clarity around all the conflicting information about nutrition. Also, both he and the TAs are far more active in the discussion forum than I've seen in any course so far (and I've taken or dabbled in a few), except perhaps Understanding the Brain from the U of Chicago, which also was very good. I like, too, that several weeks are opened at once, and it's possible to work ahead. I'm close to done with this course and thoroughly enjoying it.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    I have thoroughly enjoyed this course so much and definitely recommend it. I have told many friends about EDX and they too have enrolled in courses that adhere to their specific interests. One of the factors of the course I enjoyed are the many visual...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    I have learned so much about nutrition and how our body works, much more than I anticipated. I find it the right balance of pushing me and expecting me to do my own research. The language part is a little challenging yet there is some humour and an expectation that we should understand the information at the end, not just know how to get the right answers on the test. I like that part. No dumbing down here.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    No list of lifestyle factors that contribute to longevity would be complete without nutrition . There is broad consensus that what we eat contributes significantly to our health. Maintaining good health is a critical factor in longevity. Unfortunately,...
  • Maboroshi completed this course, spending 1 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

    Nice course. The course content is elaborate and well-organized, combined with moderate reading materials and well-knit lectures. The quizzes are a bit of tricky with only one time trial allowed.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    This course offered a good amount of information on nutrition and micronutrients and was overall engaging and interesting. But, I had two issues with it. First, the amount of information given to students auditing the course is insufficient, in my opinion;...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    Interesting subject. I learnt some facts (which are nice to have but not most important to me). I rather liked the overall ongoing insights on what is scientific consensus (and what not) and think that this part could have been more deepened out (but probably that was not the aim of this course). I wonder, when I would be student, would this be all? We just scratched on this subject. I am wondering if it is possible to reach a broader audience with the information we received without all the specific terminology (or in other words: are the specialists those who know the name of a certain enzyme or disease (this was sometimes tested))? So, to conclude: it was interesting but personally I would have expected a deeper and broader knowledge.
  • Elena completed this course, spending 5 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

    I found this course extremely useful when you are trying to understand the basic concepts of nutrition and how your diet affects your health and general well-being.
    It also provides very valuable tools to analyze the enormous amount of information related to food, nutrition and health that is now available to the general public through the media, helping us to separate truth from uninformed and misleading conclusions.
    On the other hand, Professor Sander's great sense of humor and an excellent team and great technological platform made me really enjoy this course
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    The freely available lectures are too focused on the chemical jargon and not on the information that can be useful to the students. This is especially the case in the "quizzes", which are often about matching arbitrary chemical names rather than reflecting any functional knowledge.

    I was particularly frustrated by the bait-and-switch of blocking some of the most important lectures (such as "carbohydrates and health", or "protein and health") behind the verified pay wall.

    Where it matters, the course seems to be very superficial.
  • Profile image for Yao Coitinho
    Yao C.

    Yao completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    Excellent course with an even better teacher. Essential to understand the key processes that occur inside our body regarding food.
    I have learned how to know if a claim has scientific base or not, and how the different components of certain foods or drinks can affect both, positively and negatively our health.
    I recommend this course to everyone.
  • Jumana completed this course.

    It was really interesting and informative course
    A very good experience in my first mooc course
    Thanks for Dr Sander for his great teaching techniques
    An experience that I will strongly recommend to others
    I will be v lucky if I can get a scholarship to complete my master degree in wagninen university in the nutritional science,
    Thanks again
    Jumana Faris
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    No list of lifestyle factors that contribute to longevity would be complete without nutrition . There is broad consensus that what we eat contributes significantly to our health. Maintaining good health is a critical factor in longevity. Unfortunately,...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    This course provides a basic understanding of macronutrients and their roles in health and diseases. With the current explosions of 'health experts' providing various strategies and 'facts' , it is important to get our principles right. True principles...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    I found the course to be objective, straight to the point regarding subject matters and having a nice attempt to a practical real-life and current nutrition studies status approach. I would like to have learned a little about macronutrients combination...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    This course fully met my expectations, mainly because my background is completely out of health area and I just wanted to have a structured and reliable idea of how our body works in general and its interaction with nutrients. As positive points, I consider...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    The content of the course was very interesting for me: the curriculum is extensive, the videos are clear and the discussions were helpful to determine my opinion. But the feedback could be improved. The question I asked about the app was not answered,...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    This course is a nice introduction into macronutrients and their role in health issues; more specifically, oftentimes the course examines the claims made about the health effects of different nutrients and foods to see if they hold any merit. Though...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Very helpful overview with the right amount of detail. Great balance in the sense that many topics were covered and had their equal share of attention. The Q&A sections in the end of each module were particularly enjoyable for me as they cleared up the...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    H! I liked the course very much.I always wanted to study nutrition and health benefits.The course is very informative and very much beneficial to get knowledge about the food ,diet,calories ,energy,nutrients,obesity,etc.Many thanks to the organizers...
  • James P.
    I knew next to nothing about nutrition but I now I think I could navigate my way through nutrition related questions. I am interested in learning about how the ingredients found in bakery products impact various health concerns. This course enabled me to get a general overview of the type of health challenges we have at this time in history in Western societies. Knowing that part is connected to culture and part to genetics brings a greater focus to how dietary choices impact health. I am now aware that formulation of healthful food products depends on understanding body mechanisms, the latest nutrition research of how the macronutrients interact within these mechanisms, and how consumption is impacted by our evolving lifestyles.

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