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.
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
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.
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.
Elenacompleted 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
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.