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Wageningen University

Nutrition, Heart Disease and Diabetes

Wageningen University via edX


Learn about the role of nutrition in relation to diseases of the circulatory system and diabetes, which are major causes of death worldwide. You'll learn about the etiology of heart attacks, type 2 diabetes, stroke, other forms of cardiovascular diseases and how often these occur worldwide. You will learn about biological modifiable risk factors, such as blood pressure, blood cholesterol and obesity, and how they impact these diseases in a different way. After completing this course you will also have gained adeeper insight in underlying pathophysiological mechanisms, such as insulin resistance, and the role of (epi)genetic factors.

Dieticians and doctors often get questions from their patients on what they can do to improve their health. In this course,part of the Professional Certificate Program Nutrition and Disease, you will learn about the interaction between nutrients, diets and cardiometabolic disease (heart disease and diabetes).

For whom?

The MOOC Nutrition and Disease: Nutrition, Heart Disease and Diabetes is especially valuable for professionals (in training) from various disciplines related to nutrition and health, e.g. nutritionists, epidemiologists, public health workers, physicians, health care professionals, health policy makers, nutrition educators, biologists, and food scientists.

This course, is part of theNutrition and Disease Professional Certificate Program of Wageningen University & Research. Did you already complete Nutrition and Cancer? That is the other course in this Professional Certificate Program.


Module 1 – Cardiometabolic Disease Risk
In this module you will be introduced to the different types of cardiometabolic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Furthermore both biological and environmental risk factors for these diseases such as age, blood pressure and physical exercise will be presented.

Module 2 – Role of diet – Prevention of Cardiometabolic Disease
The role of macronutrient and food intake in relation to cardiometabolic disease prevention will be presented in this module. You will gain knowledge about the importance and development of dietary guidelines for the prevention of disease.

Module 3 – Pathophysiology of Cardiometabolic Disease
Learn about the pathophysiology and processes that contribute to the development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Amongst others, insulin resistance, adipose tissue, inflammation, blood lipids and ischemia and reperfusion injury will be discussed.

Module 4 – Molecular Aspects
In this module you will learn about genetic and epigenetic practices in relation to nutrition and cardiometabolic diseases including EWAS, GWAS, diet-gene interactions, DNA methylation and Mendelian Randomisation.

Module 5 – Nutritional Strategies to Reduce Cardiometabolic Diseases
This final module describes some directions for reducing the burden of cardiometabolic diseases. Several dietary patterns, the focus of future scientific research and actions of different stakeholders are discussed.

Taught by

Marianne Geleijnse and Leanne Küpers


4.7 rating, based on 394 Class Central reviews

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  • I have a bachelor's degree from an American university in a health science field. I learned a great deal in this information dense course that included a nice balance of scientific data and practical application with clear presentation.
  • Profile image for Hans Reetoo
    Hans Reetoo
    I seldom give a 5-star rating to any course because I always believe that the course could have put an extra effort into the content, structure, layout, course assessments, and the learner support platform. The course on Nutrition, Heart Disease, and...
  • Very informative course, with clear explanation on mechanism on cardiovascular diseases and diabetes mellitus. Also very inspiring/ motivating to choose healthier diet & lifestyle
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    From the title of the course, it appears that this course should be focusing on nutritional therapy for cardiometabolic diseases. However, the course didn't really focus on that and largely focused on the pathophysiology, genetics and epigenetics. Indeed,...
  • Anonymous
    I took the class because I now have two first degree relatives with type two diabetes and for me it was not only about getting some general knowledge on cardiometabolic diseases, but actual prevention of disease and maintaining my health at a good level....
  • practical insights .diagnostic and preventiv method s.course content is excellent and elaborate /easy to understand and apply
  • i have alredy started to practice healthy eatin habits and invoving friends and family

    lots of thanks to classcentral

  • Anonymous
    Love how this course hits and elaborates on all the relevant aspects of Cardiometabolic health. Really extracted some new previously unknown info regarding the aspects and mechanismes of CMD. also some practical applyable information, which i really appriciate...
  • José Francisco Brás Dias
    Hi everyone! Thank you very much to all of you that made this course possible! I did learn a lot about all the subjects concerning this course and, as a father and a teacher, I know that this will make a difference in the education of my son’s and students....
  • Anonymous
    In the society have a lots of unhealthy food that causes various diseases in human health specially cardiometabolic diseases. Even lack of knowledge about nutrition and cardiometabolic health can increase diseases. Also more that we don’t know yet about...
  • Profile image for Min Htet Zaw
    Min Htet Zaw

    Min Htet Zaw is taking this course right now, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    I like it. It's very scientific based on the fact and research presented in an attractive way. Topics are diverse but relevant to the course objective. I encouraged others to take this course. I gained much knowledge and deep understanding of the nutrition...
  • Anonymous
    I enjoyed taking this course. I want to have all the info I can get to have the best quality of life I can achieve. I also like it because I can tell other people that may benefit from it. It is primordial to have a list of suggested readings if one would like to pursue more details in the available study reports that were done professionally.
  • Anonymous
    The information given is certainly interesting and goes very much into depth. For myself, I had hoped to find out more about what role vitamins, minerals and other supplements play and whether or not we should integrate them into our diet. Personally,...
  • Anonymous
    I signed up this course looking for answers to my questions on how to prevent and deal with heart diseases and diabetes. I did not expect to find straight answers because I have learned that our bodies are complex organs. I particularly like the emphasis on genetics as it does address the fact that the same health guidelines and treatment can't resolve problems for the whole population as some of us have different genes, and also that our lifestyle preference and environment can influence the genetic behavior ("expressions"). Overall, I am glad that I am taking this course for I did learn many useful things that I can apply to take care of my own health.
  • Anonymous
    The course is very interestingly set up and despite me having an interest in the topic I believe it to be fascinating to other students, which know less about the topic as well. The balance between videos of a good length, written tasks, engaging with peers and graded and ungraded quizzes makes it a good learning experience. I have very much enjoyed taking the course and learning about the different topics it touches on. Furthermore, I would like to take another course of the UNiversity's online programmes, as they are well set up and highly relevant.
  • Anonymous
    I have enjoyed the content and especially the role of epigenetics on cardiometabolic health. I found the studies aspect interesting. However, even with my academic background in nutritional science, I found some of the exam questions confusing in this area. Not sure how those doing verified but not in the health sciences found it? I also enjoyed reasearching the assignments regarding studies. It has been harder than I expected and will definitely need to go back over the content and videos a few times before using the knowledge in my own field.
  • Anonymous
    I have been learning so much about what Cardiometabolic diseases are and what constitutes as a "complex" disease. I have been able to learn more about prevention for coronary heart disease, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases and the role that they each, can play with each other, and within the human body from an anatomical perspective and from an economical view too, with the burden these conditions have on society.
  • Anonymous
    I gave this course a rating of three stars, not because it is inferior, but because I found the information given greatly more than was expected for my particular needs. The title emphasizes nutrition, heart disease and diabetes, but an enormous amount of emphasis was given to genetics. In my opinion, either that information should have been more streamlined or genetics should have been included in the title of the course. Other than this, I think the information given was excellent.
  • Anonymous
    The course on Nutrition, Heart Disease, and Diabetes checks all these boxes for me.

    The strongest attribute of this course is undoubtedly its content. At first, the amount of information provided may seem overwhelming but the course gradually breaks down each topic from its tiny bits until all the details come together for a more comprehensive and meaningful picture.
  • Anonymous
    The course on Nutrition, Heart Disease, and Diabetes checks all these boxes for me.

    The strongest attribute of this course is undoubtedly its content. At first, the amount of information provided may seem overwhelming but the course gradually breaks down each topic from its tiny bits until all the details come together for a more comprehensive and meaningful picture.

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