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The incidence of obesity is on the increase in affluent societies, and the phenomenon commands increasing attention from health professionals, legislators and the media. This free course, Obesity: Balanced diets and treatment, looks at the science behind obesity, examining the dietary, physiological and genetic aspects of the topic.
After studying this unit you should be able to:
- list the six key nutrient groups and explain their role in a healthy diet;
- understand and calculate body mass index (BMI), and use such calculations to predict desirable weight ranges for individuals;
- explain the importance of a balanced diet in terms of energy intake;
- explain how genetic and environmental variables may interact to produce variability in human body weight and adiposity both within and across generations;
- apply an understanding of gene–environment interactions to possible explanations of variability in body weight and adiposity.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 A balanced diet
- 2 Genes, environment and the causes of obesity
- Keep on learning
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Obesity: balanced diets and treatment
This unit is an adapted extract from the Open University course
An essential aspect of maintaining the body is the consumption of food. The range of foods that we eat is known as our diet and the components of food that are digested, absorbed and used in bodily functions are known as nutrients. Nutrients supply the body with both energy and with the components for growth and repair. In this unit we will examine the various roles of nutrients within the body and look at the effects of nutrient deficiencies or excesses, both of which can lead to adverse health effects.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Tuesday, 19th July 2011
Last updated on: Wednesday, 27th July 2011
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
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