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Online Course

Nutrition and Health: Macronutrients and Overnutrition

Wageningen University via edX

(139)
  • Provider edX
  • Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
  • Session Upcoming
  • Language English
  • Certificate $99 Certificate Available
  • Effort 6-8 hours a week
  • Duration 9 weeks long
  • Learn more about MOOCs

Taken this course? Share your experience with other students. Write review

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

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Reviews for edX's Nutrition and Health: Macronutrients and Overnutrition Based on 139 reviews

  • 5 stars 72%
  • 4 stars 25%
  • 3 stars 1%
  • 2 star 1%
  • 1 star 1%

Did you take this course? Share your experience with other students.

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  • 1
Msatanove M
by 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.
13 people found
this review helpful
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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 and audible lessons. It is great to be able to go...
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
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.
5 people found
this review helpful
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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, recent social trends and technological developments...
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Maboroshi M
by 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.
6 people found
this review helpful
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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; a lot of content was reserved for verified...
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
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.
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Elena N
by 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
4 people found
this review helpful
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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.
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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.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Jumana F
by 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
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
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, recent social trends and technological developments...
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
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 that stand are those backed up by solid scientific evidence. This course teaches those principles. Therefore, when we are bombarded with multiple nutritional claims, we will know where and how to check those claims and whether to support or refute those claims.

The videos are mostly short duration and it is pleasant to watch Prof Sander in the videos .In between lessons, there will be questions to check and affirm our understanding.

Most importantly, taking this course not only improves our knowledge but also changes our relationships with food. You will see food differently , and that is a start to healthy personal nutrition.

Great job.
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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 in food (meals) effect in regard to metabolism, e.g. quality and/or quantity of nutrients absorption, and digestion, incompatibilities;

Perhaps also a real-life example of how some type of impairment relative to nutrient absorption can affect the body, and if possible how to overcome or reduced its impact on certain nutrient (vitamins, etc) absorption/deficiency.

In general, the course is clear as far as communicating the information, nevertheless, not being proficient in English, I found it difficult sometimes to clearly understand some of the questions, and missed some answers due to this fact.

Was this review helpful to you? Yes
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 that the content is well structured, it is very objective, all issues very well explained, very clear and the subjects fully met this level of learning. I consider that improvements can be made in the Discussion Forums, as there should be a great interaction, with course coordinators, mainly in terms of answers to our questions and / or at least have a FAQ section for each of the Modules.

In summary: Very good and will recommend!

PS. I liked it so much that I started already the "Nutricion & Sports" course about 2 weeks ago and I would also like to take the Micronutrients course (Must)

Was this review helpful to you? Yes
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, so I could not continue to use the app.

The exams, challenges and question were very useful because it made me understood the course material correctly.

I’m not completely satisfied with the assignment in Module5: writing an article about coconut oil. At the start it wasn’t clear for me how to organize it, and I couldn't estimate how long it would take.

And the procedure for the peer review wasn’t very clear either. Yet, after uploading of the article, instructions were given. That is the reason the article was for me quite challenging, maybe the instructions can be adjusted?

Was this review helpful to you? Yes
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 the course is great for those who have little preknowledge, the verified track is of lesser value to those with more extensive (yet still quite basic) knowledge on subjects such as the (bio)chemistry of macronutrients, the physiology involved in processing and using them, and if you know how to interpret scientific reports. I had personally hoped that there would be more depth to the material. However, again, the course has tons of useful information. It is clear the staff has put a lot of thought into the course, and they are also present to answer questions etc.
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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 (very) few confusing points that existed. My only problem (which is very small) was that sometimes there were gaps in concrete statements (e.g. 'correlation between waist-hip ratio and visceral fat has been observed' was too little detail - perhaps the source or some numbers or more questions in the challenges beyond syllabus would have worked even better for me). In any case, I realise such gaps are sometimes arising from inconclusive evidence but I liked the parts where myths were debunked. Probably more of those will also add to the course.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
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 ,teachers and everyone over there. The videos are very clear and interesting and at the same time very informative.The discussion platform and the question and answer sessions are a window for getting knowledge about the food habits and other aspects from people of diversified demography.

My acknowledgements to the management and staff of prestigious Harvard University for providing us a golden opportunity to learn subjects of our choice with great teachers .

Thanks once again.

Regards

sujata
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Anonymous
Anonymous is taking this course right now.
I liked almost all the course, easy enough even for someone, like me, without any scientific background. It touched all the topic that I was expecting. You can tell that the people working at this course were very knowledgeable professionals.

The only thing that I found a bit to politically correct was stressing the fat that obese people find themselves in their conditions for factors that they can control very little, such as environment and genes, and I do think that we should give people responsibility for their actions and life choices, at least more that it has been intended in the video.

Other than this I found the course brilliant, and I'll end it felling more aware of what nutrition is and ready to learn even more.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
  • 1

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