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EIT Food

Nutrition for Health and Sustainability

EIT Food via edX



While health is one of several factors influencing diets, it is a powerful one, especially in certain life situations such as illness and the birth of a child.

Doctors enjoy special authority when speaking on matters of health and could play a key role in informing and persuading people to change their eating habits – during consultations but also through other channels. The global obesity epidemic, the rise of personalized medicine and increased understanding of the microbiome are also likely to converge into a situation where doctors can prescribe food as medicine, giving them influence over the decision, implementation, and confirmation stages as well.

Currently, a key obstacle to medical professionals playing a stronger role in food systems transformation is their relative lack of training in nutrition, let alone sustainability. On the other hand, linking personal health to the health of the planet will for some people be an increased motivator to rethink diets. If medical doctors had better knowledge of the link between food, health, nutrition, and sustainability, they could play an active role in transforming our food system.


To overcome this gap in knowledge and to reinforce behaviour change towards healthier and sustainable diets, EIT Food has developed a short online course on nutrition targeting medical students. In addition, professionals in the medical sector may find this course useful for providing an up-to-date analysis of topical nutrition debates.

The course title is “ Nutrition for Health and Sustainability ”. It is composed of 12 hours of learning broken down in 3 modules.

On this course, students will look at what makes up a healthy diet and see what types of foods play a crucial part in preventing diseases. Learners will have the opportunity to build an understanding of the relationship between food and disease and get accustomed to nutrition counselling techniques. They’ll also reflect on the possible biological, social, and psychological causes of unhealthy eating patterns, and interpret the importance of evidence-based nutrition both for human and planet health.


Our mission is to empower the future and current generation of medical doctor. We’ll equip them with fundamentals nutrition knowledge and nutrition counselling skills so that they could become the agents of change our society need.

The goal to establish nutrition as a key part of healthcare.

High level contributors

This course has been designed with and for medical students (undergrad or higher). It has been produced by educators from the University of Reading, the University of Torino, the University of Hohenheim, the University of Groningen, IMDEA Food Institute and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), in collaboration with experts from the Harvard Medical School and the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA).


This course focuses on:

  • The relationship between health, nutrition, and sustainability
  • Potential causes of unhealthy eating patterns
  • The importance of a sustainable diet
  • Understanding the diagnosis, management, and treatment of non-communicable diseases

Taught by

Maarten van der Kamp, Miriam Clegg, Tim van Zutphen, Francesco Visioli, Dolores del Castillo, Jing Guo, Winston Gilcrease, Edith Visser, Savino Sciascia, Amelia Hollywood and Charlotte Mills


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