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Online ExpertTrack in Healthcare & Medicine

Nutrition Science: Diet and Lifestyle for Health

Gain an introduction to nutrition science as you explore the link between diet and health and reflect on your own behaviours.

Created by

University of AberdeenUniversity of Aberdeen

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Discover how the relationship between diet and health affects wellbeing

This ExpertTrack will help you review the impact of diet, physical activity, and stress on health and wellbeing.

You’ll gain critical insights and tips on healthy habits and have the opportunity to review your own lifestyle behaviours.

With this exploration of the fundamentals of lifestyle medicine at both a population and individual level, you’ll learn how daily habits contribute to a healthy body and mind.

Discover the impacts of food choices

Our food choices affect not only our health but also the environment and economy.

You’ll explore these impacts, as well as the role of psychology and physiology on influencing food choice and eating behaviour. With this knowledge, you’ll learn what we can do to promote behaviour change for healthier habits.

The correlation between poor diet and an increased risk of non-communicable (chronic) diseases means each snack and meal we eat can be considered an opportunity to promote health.

You’ll explore the role of diet on lifelong health, as well as other crucial factors such as physical activity, stress, and the environment.

There is no quick fix to a healthy diet, and so this exploration of lifestyle approaches to support longevity will help give you a deeper understanding of how to maintain a healthier lifestyle.

Explore the causes of obesity

Not all calories are equal, and our food choices have a direct influence on subsequent appetite and energy balance. A cheap and plentiful supply of energy-dense food, in combination with a sedentary lifestyle, creates an obesogenic environment and leads to weight gain and obesity.

You’ll explore the latest scientific evidence on weight gain and weight loss from health care professionals and clinicians, and gain insight from people living with obesity. This will help you better understand treatment and prevention practices.

Learn from the experts at the University of Aberdeen and the Rowett Institute

This easy-to-follow ExpertTrack from the University of Aberdeen will give you the confidence and knowledge you need to reflect on your own nutrition habits.

It will help you demystify the latest diet findings, learn how to assess the latest evidence, and use a range of tools to support your learning.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 0 seconds ALEX JOHNSTON: Hello, I’m Professor Alex Johnston. I’m a nutrition scientist based at the Rowett Institute, part of the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. And I’m delighted to share my passion for diet and health as a course lead for this expert-track course with FutureLearn, which is on diet and lifestyle. The course presents three courses on food choice and behaviour, lifestyle medicine, and obesity and healthy weight loss. The course on obesity is designed to give you an introduction to the prevention of obesity with nutritional and non-nutritional approaches for body weight management, and influences on weight stability. You will have the opportunity to critically analyse current theories associated with human nutrition and weight management.

Skip to 0 minutes and 56 seconds Psychology and physiology are key components, and these are discussed alongside achieving weight wellness. The course on lifestyle medicine will highlight the relationship between diet and health and noncommunicable diseases, and promote evidence-based learning, so that you can evaluate a range of hierarchy of evidence. You will gain insight on the role of physical activity and movement, and how that can positively or negatively influence lifelong health. The importance of stress and resilience on mood and food will be explored, along with other hot topics, such as sleep, to promote longevity. The role of environmental and social factors in influencing life course, and also the other hot topic of intermittent fasting, will be highlighted.

Skip to 1 minute and 51 seconds The course on food choice and behaviour will emphasise eating as a form of behaviour, but also the impact of health, environment, and economy on our food choices. We will uncover the role of psychology and food choice and determinants of eating, and explore some theories of behaviour change, from the academic viewpoint into theory, and applying that to case studies. So our exciting short courses are a great way to progress your career, get up to speed for industry knowledge, or simply learn something new. There are activities and quizzes to support reflective learning, and pools and discussions where you can share and discuss your views with your peers. So I very much look forward to meeting you on the course.

Key skills you will learn

  • Networking
  • Critical evaluation
  • Nutrition
  • Health
  • Research
  • Communication
  • Public Health
  • Nutrition Science

Learning outcomes

By the end of the ExpertTrack, you’ll be able to...

  • Summarise your understanding on the importance of a healthy diet to influence health, wellbeing and longevity
  • Applied knowledge to discuss nutritional and non-nutritional influences on body weight and healthy weight loss
  • Demonstrate skills to apply evidenced based learning through participating in tasks and activities, with peer-supported learning
  • Developed skills and techniques to promote a healthy lifestyle
  • Discussed and explored obesity and healthy weight loss with consideration of academic , clinical and patient perspectives
  • Reflect on eating as a form of behaviour
  • Synthesise information on lifestyle medicine to impact on health and disease
  • Critically evaluate academic evidence in nutrition science

Experience required

This ExpertTrack is designed to support learning for beginners and help you build knowledge and understanding of nutrition science. No prior knowledge is required.

Getting started

Learn at your own pace on this self-guided ExpertTrack. With every step, you can connect with other learners, share your ideas, and join in with active discussions in the comments.

ExpertTrack course overview

  • Course 1

    Gain valuable insights into eating as a behaviour and the impacts this has on health, the environment, and the economy.

    1 peer-graded assignment

    4 weeks

    10 hours per week

    • Week 1

      The impacts of eating behaviour
      • Welcome to the course
      • How do we measure and monitor food choices?
      • Impact of food choice on health and environment
      • Economics of food choice
      • End of the week summary
    • Week 2

      Psychology of food choice
      • Welcome to week 2
      • What controls our appetite?
      • Socioeconomic factors
      • Consumer behaviours
      • End of the week summary
    • Week 3

      Determinants of eating
      • Welcome to week 3
      • Dual process model of eating
      • Is it all in my head?
      • End of the week summary
    • Week 4

      Behaviour change: from theory to evidence
      • Welcome to week 4
      • Changing consumer behaviour
      • How to translate evidence into practice?
      • End of the week summary
      • End of the course video
  • Course 2

    Discover the preventative role of diet and nutrition for lifelong health and the relationship between mood and food.

    1 peer-graded assignment

    4 weeks

    10 hours per week

    • Week 1

      Preventative role of diet and nutrition for life-long health
      • Welcome to week 1
      • Introduction
      • The role of protein and bioactives
      • Gut health
      • End of the week summary
    • Week 2

      Physical activity and health
      • Why physical activity matters?
      • Physical activity for health
      • Measuring physical activity
      • End of week summary
    • Week 3

      Stress and resilience on mood and food
      • Welcome to week 3
      • Give your head a rest
      • Stress and health
      • Mindfulness in practice
      • End of week summary
    • Week 4

      The influence of environment and social factors on health
      • Welcome to week 4
      • Work patterns, socio-economic factors and health care provision
      • Eating for our planet
      • End of week summary
      • End of course video
  • Course 3

    Delve into the lifestyle contributors and lived experience of obesity and how to healthily promote weight loss.

    1 peer-graded assignment

    4 weeks

    10 hours per week

    • Week 1

      Prevention of Obesity and Overweight
      • Welcome to the Course
      • Is Obesity a Disease?
      • How do we Measure Obesity?
      • Is it all in the Genes?
      • The Science of Food Choice and Behaviour
      • End of the Week Summary
    • Week 2

      Weight Loss Diets
      • Welcome to week 2
      • Popular Diets and Dieting Myths
      • Clinical and Patient Perspective
      • End of the Week Summary
    • Week 3

      Non-Nutritional Aspects of Weight Loss
      • Welcome to Week 3
      • The Role of Physical Activity and Sleep
      • Alternative approaches in body weight managment
      • End of the Week Summary
    • Week 4

      Weight Loss Maintenance
      • Welcome to Week 4
      • Time of Eating
      • Obesity - Personal or State Responsibility?
      • Post Weight-Loss Wellness
      • End of Week Summary
      • End of Course Video

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  • Make your career dreams a reality.

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World-class learning with University of Aberdeen

University of Aberdeen is the 3rd oldest Scottish and 5th oldest UK University. With 14500 students from 120 countries, it is a world leader in medical research, energy, environment, law and business.

Meet your instructors

I lead a Research Team as a Nutrition Scientist based at the Rowett Institute at the University of Aberdeen. I am interested in appetite across the life course. I am also a UK Registered Nutritionist.

I am a teaching fellow at the Rowett Institute. My latest scientific interests encompass the sustainability of the human diet, the effect of plant protein on metabolic health and the environment.

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