Course overview:

The UK faces several pressing concerns when it comes to public health. Growing problems with obesity, hypertension and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases are just some of the conditions that have severe ramifications for individual health and the associated costs to society. While we understand more about the genetic and epigenetic causes of these conditions than ever before, we are also increasingly aware that diet and nutrition are crucial components of an individual’s risk for these (and other) health concerns.

The situation is complicated by the recent explosion of nutritional advice, specialised diets and products aimed at ‘healthy’ eating. The sheer volume of information can make it difficult to assess the best approach, particularly when ‘healthy’ can be an ambiguous term in this discourse, and much advice is either contradictory or based on a misapprehension of scientific evidence.

Diet, Food and the Nation’s Health will explore all of these issues and provide an introduction to and knowledge of the nutritional state of the nation and the role of diet in health and acute and chronic disease. Through 8 weeks of online learning, it will present the scientific evidence underpinning conceptions of ‘a healthy diet’ and give participants tools and knowledge to assess an individual’s diet in these contexts. Participants will also develop an understanding of food composition relative to healthy eating guidelines and explore the scientific rationale for making health claims about foods. Finally, it will discuss the food industry’s role in improving the diet quality and health of the nation as a whole.

This module will be of particular use to anyone working or looking to work in industries relating to diet and nutrition or desiring to understand the links between diet and acute and chronic disease in a more general sense. It would also be helpful to anyone working on creating or marketing ‘healthy’ food products.

Learning outcomes:

On completion of the module, learners should be able to:

  • Understand the present nutritional setting of the United Kingdom
  • Discuss the role of diet in chronic disease
  • Critically appraise dietary guidelines and the health claims made on foods
  • Evaluate their diet and that of others in terms of overall healthfulness
  • Critically appraise the composition of food items about healthy eating targets
  • Discuss the potential for the food industry to improve diet quality and the Nation’s health

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Key facts:

Course Dates 15th April 2024
Type/Duration 8 Weeks online
Entry Requirements Graduate level or relevant experience
Cost £1050.00
CQFW Level 7
Course Provider University of Reading
Provider Reference Number FZMR20
Course Arrangements Full joining instructions will be confirmed by the course provider.
Course Location Online, University of Reading
Cohort Continued Professional Development
Course Logistics Delivered entirely online through the University of Reading’s Virtual Learning Environment over an
eight-week period, it is suggested that material is reviewed every week; however, participants
may vary their speed of learning to suit their requirements.The course is available as Continued Professional Development, or with the award of 15 academic
credits for participants completing a postgraduate programme*.*please contact the EPTH office if you wish to complete the module for academic credit.
Tutor Professor George Grimble

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Contact details:

Contact Name for Enquiries: Fiona Lee or Cathy Crips

Email address:

Telephone Number: 0118 378 3312 or  0118 378 8722

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