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Wageningen University

Nutrition for Healthy Ageing

Wageningen University via edX


How your body changes with age and the importance of a healthy diet and lifestyle
As you age, the functioning of your body declines: your muscles become less strong, your bones more brittle and you may become more forgetful.

Fortunately, we can do something about this! Studies have shown that a healthy diet, together with regular exercise, can slow down or prevent the decline in muscle strength, bone density and brain functioning with age.

Are you ready to learn how diet and lifestyle can slow down ageing?

Science-based insight in the role of nutrition in longevity
In an era where we are bombarded with opinions on nutrition, this course offers you the science behind food & the ageing body. Understanding the how and the why will not only allow you to make better informed decisions. It will also strengthen your motivation to stick with new, healthy habits.

Together, we will explore what happens in the body and how this affects your functioning. Learn how to use nutrition and lifestyle to slow down ageing.

Join us today and improve your chance at living a longer, healthier, and more fulfilling life!

Lifestyle over genetics
In the introductory module, we will explore the general context of the ageing process. We will learn from the so-called Blue Zones, the importance of lifestyle and the role of genes.

The ageing body; your digestion, muscles, bones and brain
In the subsequent four modules, we’ll take a deep dive into the effect of ageing on:

  • Food consumption, digestion and how medication could influence this;
  • What happens in the muscle and how nutrition and exercise can be used to maintain strength;
  • What changes occur in the bone and how to maintain strong bones; and
  • What changes take place in the brain, specific risk factors and how to maintain brain health.

Take a look in the mirror
In the assignments you will be challenged to look at where you are now:

  • Map your own food intake and compare this with the best diets for ageing;
  • Assess your risk for ageing diseases; and
  • Come up with ideas on how to decrease your risks via nutrition and lifestyle.

Upgrade to the Verified Track

For those looking to further deepen their knowledge, and to learn how to practically implement nutritional advice in their daily (professional) routine, upgrading to the Verified Track may be just the right choice for you!

For whom?
This online course is designed for anyone motivated to learn more about healthy ageing. Whether you’re an ‘experience expert’ or you simply want to invest in your health and that of your relatives and friends. Enrol today!


Module 1. What is ageing?
In this module we will introduce you to the field of ageing: what is ageing and how can we influence the ageing trajectory? We will dive into the role of genes as well as lifestyle. In addition, you will learn about different biological causes of ageing.

Module 2. Food consumption and digestion in the ageing body
Ageing has a major impact on the body. Amongst others, it has an effect on the foods we consume and how this food is digested in the body. This can lead to malnutrition, which is discussed in this module as well. Finally, you will learn about how medical drugs influence these processes.

Module 3. Nutrition and exercise for muscles and strength
As we age, the strength of our muscles and the ability to move declines. In this module you will learn why this is the case, and how you can use nutrition and exercise for your muscles.

Module 4. Nutrition to maintain strong bones
Older adults have higher chances of falling, with fractures as a consequence. After following this module you will be able to explain what happens in the bone during ageing, and how you can use nutrition and exercise to maintain strong bones.

Module 5. Nutrition and the brain
Memory complaints are very common among the elderly. In this module you will learn what changes take place in the brain that are responsible for these memory complaints, as well as the optimal diet to slow down brain ageing and reduce the risk of dementia.

Module 6. Case studies
What advice would you give to a family member who is experiencing memory loss? Or a friend who recently fell and is afraid to break a bone? In this part, you will apply your newly acquired knowledge on nutrition and lifestyle!

Taught by

Dr. Marco Mensink, Pol Grootswagers PhD, Lisette de Groot, Yannick Vermeiren and Inge Groenendijk


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