Alex Johnstone (Lead Educator)

Alex Johnstone (Lead Educator)

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.

Location Aberdeen, Scotland


  • Hello Barbara, great to see you join again ! Alex

  • It is really nice to read your posts, and look forward to joining in your discussion.

  • Really great words - cant wait to see the wordle you create !

  • Hope you enjoy it Rachel, Alex

  • It is great to see so many people interested in this topic - I am looking forward to read your comments. Alex

  • Hello Learners, I can see some discussion around the use of products in this video. Just to flag that these are used here to give learners a visual experience/cue and our content is not around product placement. We are keen to share the science with you, not to endorse specific products as adverts or commercials. It is great to read that most of you found the...

  • Hello Richard and Theroigne - I think you will enjoy this You Tube recording from The Royal Institution. Obesity researcher Giles Yeo shows why calories are not created equal, based on his book, "Why Calories Don't Count":
    This explains a lot about biological variation and the food environment contribution to...

  • Lots of great discussion on this point !

  • Sorry Richard, the date was a typo- you are getting the full service ! hope you enjoy the course, alex

  • Hello Kristina, we cover the topic of food addiction in a couple of weeks.

  • Lots of interesting discussion here !

  • Hello, Welcome to the course, look forward to read your discussion. Alex

  • Sorry it was late notice John- thanks for joining !

  • Lots of really great discussion on this topic !

  • Ive not watched this TV programme, i need to !

  • @EmmaAllsop I also agree that the packaging of produce is important for sustainability.

  • Since i wrote and filmed this section the EAT-Lancet report has been published and has received much attention as a blueprint for feeding 10 billion people by 2050 whilst retaining planetary health.

    The authors considered climate change, land system change, freshwater use, nitrogen cycling, phosphorus cycling and biodiversity loss as key international...

  • WOW, lots of great discussion !

  • @RameshaKhanthere is a short test at the end of week 4, and you can pay Future Learn to upgrade to obtain a certificate of achievement

  • What do you think now Caroline, have you completed this week ?

  • It looks great, thanks for your contribution !

  • You are correct Abigail, but this video was filmed before the change of term. This is a useful link to the difference between the two:
    Thanks for your discussion !

  • Lots of discussion about sugar being addictive ! Do you still think that after watching the video ? These are useful articles on the topic:
    Thanks for your posts - enjoying reading them !

  • Hello Christine, i am also interested in the food-gut-brain axis. Unfortunately, not covered in this course, but something i would like to cover in the future !

  • We will focus on comments and questions in week 1 this week (week of 4th May) and then week 2 next week, starting on Monday 11th May, thanks !

  • Can I help with anything Tiphaine ?

    The glycaemic index (GI) is an arbitrary number that tells us whether a carbohydrate-containing food raises blood glucose levels quickly, moderately or slowly. This is most often uses to help manage diabetes. Different carbohydrates are digested and absorbed at different rates, and GI is a ranking of how quickly each...

  • I do agree with you Kate, obesity is not simplistic at all. There are many reasons why people gain weight and that is why one diet does not fit all people as a solution.

  • This was one of my favourite videos to film !

  • Wow, lots of great comments already - looking forward to read your posts over the next four weeks.

  • Alex Johnstone (Lead Educator) replied to [Learner left FutureLearn]

    Julian Mercer suggests that food addiction does not exist. This might be a useful short article :

  • This is an interesting open access article on sugar and addiction :

  • @NiccolaO'Loughlin this is an interesting article that discusses this - there is no concrete evidence that links sugar with an addiction/withdrawal system in humans currently :

  • That is a good question @rohanwanduragala - caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant that has the ability to enhance concentration, increase metabolism, and boost mood. We often drink this in coffee, tea, energy drinks to give us a 'boost' or improve alertness. In most cases, drinking caffeinated beverages is a relatively safe, non-harmful habit;...

  • Lots of interesting points, sorry we didn't cover them all for you @AnnGrant - obesity is strongly linked to many diseases, being thin is also linked to different diseases. this might be a useful link from the WHO :

  • @BarbaraK-S thanks for your useful sharing links !

  • Hello @ZoniaYaqoobVirk we don't cover nutrition to treat diseases as this generally requires medical input at an individual level, please speak to a qualified clinician.

  • @UmairZiad I think you need to do the final assessment for a certificate of achievement ?

  • This course is encouraging evidence based opinion. I can see a lot of the learners have supported this ethos and this in turns strengthens the learning experience.

  • @CorinneHG I will try to get another course ready ! thanks for the positive comments.

  • I agree @kathymeiklejohn - lots of supportive discussion amongst learners !

  • Wow - lots of great comments ! Trying to read as many as I can !

  • Yes, the links are checked before every run - apologies if one was missed !