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Nutrition for Health and Sustainability

Learn what makes up a healthy, sustainable diet and how certain food types can help to treat and prevent disease.

14,328 enrolled on this course

A female GP, an young male eating an apple and the planet Earth in the backgroup
  • Duration

    3 weeks
  • Weekly study

    4 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Digital upgrade

  • Accreditation

    AvailableMore info

Explore the relationship between health, nutrition, and sustainability

Please note that a video introduction of the course can be found here, and that a Spanish version of the course is available here.

Diet is the biggest single risk factor for preventable diseases in the world and a key driver of diabetes, heart disease, and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

On this course, you’ll look at what makes up a healthy diet, and see what types of foods play a crucial part in preventing diseases and improving wellbeing.

Investigate the potential causes of unhealthy eating patterns

Medical professionals are of utmost importance in food transformation and a well understood knowledge of the link between food, health, nutrition and sustainability helps them in playing an active role.

You’ll build your understanding of the relationship between food and disease. You’ll also reflect on the possible biological, social, and psychological causes of unhealthy eating patterns, and interpret the importance of evidence-based nutrition.

Discover the importance of a sustainable diet

You’ll explore different forms of sustainable diet and how to apply current health guidelines to different groups of people based on their current life stage and health.

By understanding the link between food, nutrition, diets, and sustainability, you’ll be able to effectively assess human health at different life stages.

Understand the diagnosis, management, and treatment of NCDs

By interpreting and analysing evidence-based nutrition reports, you’ll be able to identify which foods are essential to maintain a healthy and balanced diet, as well as which ingredients can help treat and prevent various diseases. You’ll also develop skills to have conversations with people about improving their diet for health benefit.

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  • Week 1

    Why do we need to rethink our diets?

    • Welcome to the course

      This first activity introduces the course and the educators

    • Diets and society

      This activity explores the importance of food in today's society

    • Diet and nutrition

      This activity introduces the fundamentals of nutrition

    • Putting it into practice

      This activity gives an overview of the components of a healthy diet, and presents views from both educators and students on the need of nutrition training for medical doctors.

    • Review & reflect

      Week 1 wrap-up

  • Week 2

    The role of diet in health

    • Welcome to Week 2

      This activity introduces the second week of the course.

    • Diets to prevent diseases

      This activity focuses on the relationship between food and diseases.

    • Diet and non-communicable diseases

      This activity explores the relationship between eating patterns and non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

    • Putting it into practice

      This activity gives you an opportunity to put into practice all course learnings.

    • Review & reflect

      Week 2 wrap-up.

  • Week 3

    Sustainable diet for healthy humans and planet

    • Welcome to Week 3

      This activity introduces the final week of the course

    • Diets for healthy living

      This activity focuses on the nutritional needs through life

    • Diet and food systems

      This activity focuses on the food systems, exploring globalisation, how latest research could influence policies and how you can get involved

    • Diet to save the planet

      This activity focuses on the relationship between food production & consumption and climate change, and gives insights on the planetary diet

    • Putting it into practice

      This activity gives you an opportunity to put into practice all course learnings.

    • Course summary

      This is the final activity of the course, wrapping up all learnings.

Who is this accredited by?

The CPD Certification Service
The CPD Certification Service:

This course has been certified by the CPD Certification Service as conforming to continuing professional development principles

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

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

  • Reflect on the possible causes (biological, social, psychological) of unhealthy eating patterns
  • Assess the current healthy guidelines and describe how they can be applied to different population groups
  • Describe which types of foods are essential for health and wellbeing and summarise their important role in treating/preventing disease
  • Describe the causes of unsustainable food production and consumption patterns
  • Explain the effects of food on the body, society and the planet and compare their impacts on healthcare practices
  • Explain the relationship between food, nutrition, diets and human health in the context of sustainability

Who is the course for?

This course has been designed for medical students or people working in the healthcare sector.

Professionals in the medical sector will find this course useful for providing an up to date analysis of topical nutrition debates.

If you’re looking to expand your knowledge on this topic, you might also find of interest the following EIT Food courses on nutrition and health:

Who will you learn with?

I am the Director of Education for EIT Food; I have a background in teaching sustainability and entrepreneurship and a passion to help learners to figure out how to have a positive impact on the world

Dr Miriam Clegg is a Lecturer and Researcher in Nutritional Sciences and a Registered Nutritionist. She researches appetite and nutritional health across the life-course.

I'm a lecturer at Campus Fryslân, University of Groningen, the Netherlands. I'm interested in the role of lifestyle in health and disease with a particular interest in food and nutrition.

Teaches Human Nutrition at the University of Padova and does research at IMDEA-Food, Madrid. Main expertise: nutraceuticals, functional foods, cardiovascular pharmacology, (poly)phenols.

Dr. M. Dolores del Castillo is a Biochemist and has a PhD in Food Science and Technology. She is Research Scientist in the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and head of Food Bioscience group.

Dr Jing Guo is a Registered Nutritionist. She has great experience in teaching Food Science and Nutrition and has led several research projects including different types of studies.

Works in multilateral cooperation with NGOs, academia and international projects focused on the nexus of sustainability in urban development, energy, human health, and food systems.

PhD researcher at Campus Fryslân, University of Groningen, the Netherlands. My interest is in the relation between diet and (severe) asthma. My background is in dietetics and nutrition research.

Medical Doctor and Educator at the Department of Clinical and Biological Sciences, University of Torino, Italy. Member of the UNESCO Chair for Sustainable Development and Territory Management

Dr Amelia Hollywood is an Associate Professor in Health Services Research and a Health Psychologist. She supports people to change their behaviour for health benefit and improved quality of life.

Lecturer in Nutritional Sciences within the Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition at University of Reading, UK. Interested in nutrients and bioactive compounds on cardiometabolic health.

Who developed the course?

EIT Food

EIT Food is Europe’s leading food initiative, working to make the food system more sustainable, healthy and trusted.

Endorsers and supporters

endorsed by

IFMSA International Federation of Medical Students' Association

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University of Reading

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University of Hohenheim logo

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University of Groningen logo

What's included?

EIT Food are offering everyone who joins this course a free digital upgrade, so that you can experience the full benefits of studying online for free. This means that you get:

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Tests to validate your learning
  • A PDF Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you’re eligible
  • Learning on FutureLearn

    Your learning, your rules

    • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
    • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
    • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

    Join a global classroom

    • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
    • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
    • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

    Map your progress

    • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
    • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
    • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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