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Online course

Obesity: Causes and Consequences

Obesity is a global epidemic. As the world gets fatter, explore its impact on our health and lives, with this free online course.

Free:

  • Access to the course for its length + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps)
  • Access to quizzes and assignments
  • No access to course tests
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps)
  • Access to quizzes and assignments
  • Access to course tests
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Obesity: Causes and Consequences

Why join the course?

Obesity is changing the world we live in. Across a wide range of sectors - from the food industry to clothing design - we see the impact of the world’s growing waistline.

Perhaps the biggest impact obesity has is on our physical and psychological health, and the organisations and institutions that care for us.

Investigate the causes and consequences of obesity

In this free online course, we’ll investigate how modern life is increasing levels of obesity around the world, and the wide-ranging consequences this has on individual lives and society as a whole.

We’ll explore the impact of abundant, cheap, high-calorie fast food; sedentary lifestyles; changing modes of transport; and increasing urbanisation. Over four weeks, we’ll ask:

  • How do we define and measure obesity?
  • What are the causes of obesity?
  • What are the consequences of obesity on health?
  • How is research into obesity helping us to understand the issue?

Take a multidisciplinary approach to obesity

Specialists from the University of Reading’s School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy will guide you through the latest research in the field, and discuss how a multidisciplinary approach can help tackle the obesity epidemic.

If you’re a healthcare professional, this course will offer you a taste of the University’s Certificate in Obesity Management.

Download video: standard or HD

What topics will you cover?

Week one:

  • Introduction to obesity and how it’s defined.
  • Obesity portrayed in the media.
  • The public’s perceptions and prejudices regarding obesity.

Week two:

  • How obesity is measured.
  • Critical introduction to body mass index.
  • Introduction to resting energy expenditure.

Week three:

  • Overview of the key factors that contribute to weight gain.
  • How the factors that contribute to obesity can be classified and grouped.
  • How weight is regulated to prevent obesity.

Week four:

  • Introduction to the links between obesity and ill-health.
  • Overview of the key consequences of obesity.
  • How healthcare consultations can be improved.

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

  • Identify and compare the prevalence of obesity in different countries
  • Explore and reflect on the perceptions and prejudice associated with obesity
  • Calculate, interpret and compare the various methods for classifying obesity
  • Discuss and classify the contributing causes of obesity
  • Explain the reasons for and summarise the health consequences of obesity

Who is the course for?

This course is suitable for anyone with an interest in understanding obesity and health, including healthcare professionals.

Who will you learn with?

Angela Alexander

I'm a pharmacist with an interest in climate change and sustainability. At the University of Reading we run the Certificate in Obesity Management, hence my role as "educator" for Obesity course on FL.

Who developed the course?

Buy a personalised, digital and printed certificate and transcript

You can buy a Certificate of Achievement for this course — a personalised certificate and transcript in both digital and printed formats, to prove what you’ve learnt. A Statement of Participation is also available for this course.

Certificate of Achievement + transcript £49.00

Statement of Participation £19.00

Estimate prices in preferred currency

Charges to your account will be made in GBP. Prices in local currency are provided as a convenience and are only an estimate based on current exchange rates.