Introduction and guidance
Welcome to this free course, The science of nutrition and healthy eating.
In this course, you’ll look at the science behind nutrition, covering aspects of biology, chemistry and physics as well as gaining insight into healthier eating. Reading food labels, choosing healthier foods, hydrating appropriately and understanding how we taste food will allow you to be more informed about the choices you make for the food you eat. You’ll also investigate how information about healthy eating differs around the world.
The biology part of the course will focus on the digestive system and how the body uses the elements in our food to function. It is important to understand the macro and micro nutrients in the foods we eat and how our bodies use them. Some people follow food restriction due to choice or religious observation. Malnutrition is not just a concern for developing countries – it can mean over nutrition as well as under nutrition. Sometimes certain components of food can be an enemy rather than beneficial, so special diets have to be followed.
When you’ve finished the course, you may even wish to consider what you eat at the moment and what changes you will make as a result of what you have learned!
The course lasts eight weeks, with approximately three hours of study each week. You can work through the course at your own pace, so if you have more time one week there is no problem with pushing on to complete another week’s study.
You will be able to test your understanding of the course through the weekly interactive quizzes, of which Weeks 4 and 8 will provide you with an opportunity to earn a badge to demonstrate your new skills. You can read more on how to study the course and about badges in the next sections.
After completing this course, you will be able to:
- demonstrate and understand how food is processed and then used in the body
- apply knowledge to understand healthy eating advice and identify how ti varies in different countries
- make sense of food labels and perform basic calculations of energy in food
- describe and know about food allergies and intolerances
- describe and understand possible reasons for the current obesity epidemic.
Moving around the course
In the ‘Summary’ at the end of each week, you can find a link to the next week. If at any time you want to return to the start of the course, click on ‘Course content’. From here you can navigate to any part of the course. Alternatively, use the week links at the top of every page of the course.
It’s also good practice, if you access a link from within a course page (including links to the quizzes), to open it in a new window or tab. That way you can easily return to where you’ve come from without having to use the back button on your browser.