Weekly study3 hours
The Science of Nutrition
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Are we really what we eat? And how do we know what is in our food?
This free online course will look to answer some of these questions, by looking at the science behind nutrition, covering aspects of biology, chemistry and physics. You’ll look at the components of food that are given on food labels and consider how these are processed by the body.
There will be some human biology, focusing on the digestive system, including the liver, and the bloodstream, which carries the processed food components to all parts of the body. You will also find out how much energy different sorts of foods supply.
You will have the opportunity to carry out some experiments to find out a little more about the role that acid plays in digestion and how enzymes work, as well as working out how much energy is contained in a single peanut.
Finally, you’ll consider some of the advice that is given about what constitutes a healthy diet and how overconsumption has led to an obesity epidemic in many countries of the world.
- Basic chemistry of protein, fat and carbohydrate components of food
- Basic biology of the digestive system, how enzymes function and how products of digestion are used
- Measurements of nutrients in prepared food and interpretation of food labels
- Measurement of the energy available from food
- Constituents of a healthy diet and analysis of dietary advice
- The obesity epidemic and aspects of different diets throughout the world
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...
- Demonstrate and understand how food is processed and then used in the body.
- Describe and know about food allergies and intolerances.
- Apply knowledge to understand healthy eating advice and identify how it varies in different countries.
- Interpret and understand the basic components of food.
- Discuss and be able to make sense of food labels and peform basic calculations of energy in food.
- Describe and understand possible reasons for the current obesity epidemic.
- Be able to conduct simple experiments using easily available materials.
Who is the course for?
This course is intended for anyone with a general interest in science or nutrition and does not require any prior experience of studying this subject.
Who developed the course?
LocationMilton Keynes, UK
World rankingTop 510Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020