This course will explore basic nutrition principles and concepts and their application to personal and population health. Students will learn how food is digested, how individual macro-nutrients (protein carbohydrates, and fats) and micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals) are absorbed and utilized to regulate body functions that promote health. Discussions will revolve around individual nutrient needs and how cultural food practices and the magnitude of dietary diversity are associated with health throughout the lifecycle. The prevention and treatment of nutrition-related chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer will be discussed. We will also examine how body weight is regulated (genetics and behavioral factors) and the efficacy of various dietary and exercise approaches to promote the maintenance of a healthy body weight. Additionally, because malnutrition is a global issue, we will examine the impact of nutrient deficiencies on growth and behavioral development, especially in children. Students will learn to use scientific evidence to evaluate nutrition information as related to health, disease, and sports performance from popular websites and magazines. Portside dining experiences will serve as a basis for discussing the cultural origins and nutritional quality of the foods we eat as we journey beyond Europe to Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.
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