Overview of Course
This course will explore basic nutrition concepts and principles and their application to personal and population health. We will establish a foundation by studying the digestion, absorption, metabolism, and functions of nutrients. Students will understand the scientific basis for nutrition, physical activity, and health guidelines, and compare and contrast recommendations among countries we visit on the voyage. We will consider a continuum of nutritional status on which populations lie, and learn about the “dual burden” of malnutrition where both under- and over-nutrition coexist as public health problems. In addition, we will examine the prevention and treatment of nutrition-related chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Students will investigate the complexity of global issues related to nutrition and health.
Throughout the voyage, discussions will revolve around the social-ecological model – how multiple layers of influence (such as cultural practices, social systems, and environment) interact to shape a person’s food and physical activity choices. In country, students will observe and experience food practices and systems. Post-port, students will cultivate self-awareness through analysis and reflection – comparing and contrasting food, nutrition, and health patterns and cultural traditions.