The science of nutrition and healthy eating
The science of nutrition and healthy eating

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

The science of nutrition and healthy eating

Week 6: What do people eat?


Welcome to Week 6 of the course.

Last week you looked at how much energy food contains and the reference values for different components of food. This week, you will consider how all of this fits together as part of a balanced eating pattern.

By the end of this week’s study you will be able to understand:

  • the Eatwell Guide and dietary approaches in different countries
  • vegetarian and vegan diets
  • the meaning of malnutrition
  • how to measure obesity.

To start you thinking, here are some questions.

  • What do you already know about what a balanced eating pattern may mean?
  • What healthy eating advice have you heard or seen?
  • Do you think that what is portrayed in the media helps with understanding?

In the following video Audrey Brown from The Open University finds out whether some members of staff at the University think they are eating a healthy and balanced diet.

Download this video clip.Video player: snhe_1_week_6_vid_1.mp4
Skip transcript


Today, we’re asking people what makes for a healthy diet. How do you know if you’re eating a balanced diet?
I was intending to have a baked potato and cottage cheese, which was going to be my plan, and because I’ve had a bad morning, I’m probably going to have bacon and egg instead, so I think it’s probably not such a good choice.
Fish and chips. I had pho, and I’m hoping it was good for me, but it didn’t really taste like anything.
Yes, I have salad, which I have every day actually.
I’m having pizza today, so absolutely not. I guess maybe in small portions if you are particularly healthy person, you can have unhealthy food. But I’m not a particularly healthy person. so this is probably just compounding the fat and sugar that I ingest on a regular basis.
We had fish and chips.
I had some healthy noodles with vegetables and prawn thing, and it tasted very healthy.
Didn’t really taste of anything.
Yeah, I think so. I think so many people don’t agree with sandwiches, but I find bread not too bad.
Although noone that we interviewed specifically mentioned five a day, there was a general understanding that more fruits and vegetables in the diet is a good thing. But, of course, you also need carbohydrates, like bread, potatoes, pasta, and rice, protein, and dairy products, and then only a very small amount of foods that are very high in fat and sugar. But overall, it’s a mixture of all these things that makes for the best balanced diet.
End transcript
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371