Online course

Causes of Human Disease: Nutrition and Environment

Explore how nutrition and environmental factors such as toxins influence your chance of developing human disease.

Causes of Human Disease: Nutrition and Environment

This course is part of the Causes of Human Disease program, which will enable you to learn about the science behind the causes of human disease, and earn 10 credits from the University of Leeds..

Explore how nutrition and environmental factors influence our health.

On this course you’ll look at the importance of nutrition in human health and explore what happens to the body when it doesn’t receive the right nutrients. You will focus on malnutrition and obesity and how these contribute to the development of diseases, such as diabetes. Using research from the University of Leeds, you’ll learn how food can lead to ill health by carrying pathogens that cause food poisoning, or toxins linked with diseases such as cancer. You’ll then investigate environmental factors, including air pollution and its contribution to cardiovascular diseases.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 12 secondsMalnutrition is an important risk factor for human disease. Eating too much or too little can have negative consequences for our body. Food provides us with nutrients which are the building blocks of the body and, therefore, we need to know about those in order to keep our body healthy and prevent disease. The course will be covering a range of risk factors, including nutritional and environmental factors, that can be avoided in order to prevent disease.

Skip to 0 minutes and 44 secondsWe're going to focus on what we sometimes refer to as lifestyle risks, such as smoking and drinking alcohol, but we'll also look at other environmental agents such as chemicals that may be in the environment, for example, in food and water. You may have seen in the news recently that there's been quite a focus on health problems related to air pollution, particularly those arising from traffic emissions, so we will look at the reasons why air pollution causes health problems and what those problems are. Sign up now for Causes of Human Disease Nutrition and Environment.

What topics will you cover?

  • The importance of vitamins and minerals for human health.
  • Protein and Energy Malnutrition (PEM): the causes, and physical and physiological symptoms.
  • Obesity: its presentation, causes and consequences.
  • Food toxins and the risk to health.
  • Contribution of environmental toxins and the association with human disease.
  • Waterborne toxins and the impact on health.
  • Air pollution and its contribution to cardiovascular diseases.

When would you like to start?

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Explore how poor nutrition and diet contributes to malnutrition and disease.
  • Report on the nutritional and protective qualities of specific diets.
  • Investigate toxins present in food and how they contribute to human disease.
  • Describe how waterborne chemical toxins can have an adverse effect on health.
  • Reflect on how air pollution can contribute to the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Who is the course for?

The course is suitable for anyone with a general interest in the science behind causes of human disease and medicine. No previous knowledge or experience is required. If you are working in nursing, healthcare or social care or just wish to learn more about it, this course is designed to support you as a professional. By completing all aspects of the course you will have achieved 14 hours of CPD time.

Who will you learn with?

Caroline Orfila

I am Associate Professor of Nutrition at the University of Leeds in the UK.

Who developed the course?

As one of the UK’s largest research-based universities, the University of Leeds is a member of the prestigious Russell Group and a centre of excellence for teaching.

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