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The University of Southampton

BIOL3054 Nutrition in Health and Disease: Part1

Module Overview

The aim of this module is to examine the causative, protective or therapeutic roles of nutrition with regard to human disease.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Define some of the basic terminology used in nutrition.
  • Describe some of the ways in which dietary components (including fatty acids and plant sterols) affect blood cholesterol concentration.
  • Describe what is meant by glycemic indexand glycemic load.
  • Describe why there are debates around the roles of sugar and fat in human health.
  • Describe the main fuels used for energy generation and how use of those fuels is integrated in different physiological conditions.
  • Describe how complex macronutrients are digested, absorbed and handled in the post-prandial period.
  • Describe strategies for maintaining optimal nutrition during pregnancy to support both maternal health and the growth and development of the fetus.
  • Discuss maternal nutritional needs during lactation in terms of maintaining maternal health and providing nutrients for the growth and development of the infant.
  • Describe the issues surrounding provision of nutrition to support optimal growth, development and health of the infant in context with specific needs and maturational deficiencies.
  • Describe how appetite is controlled and how this differs between health and disease and changes with ageing.
  • Outline some of the molecular and cellular processes believed to be important in the development of obesity
  • Describe what is meant by metabolic syndrome and type-1 and type-2 diabetes.


The module focuses upon the role of diet in human health and disease through the life course and the potential of particular nutritional strategies to lower disease risk and to improve health. The module introduces key basic concepts of human nutrition (terminology, requirements and recommendations, digestion and absorption) and of metabolism of diet-derived energy sources. The module also covers appetite control; nutrition in pregnancy, lactation and infancy; obesity diabetes and metabolic syndrome; diet and cardiovascular disease. The influence of dietary factors on cardiovascular risk markers; modern concepts of adipose tissue biology, appetite control, and obesity; and the importance of good nutrition in supporting pregnancy, lactation and infant growth and development are all covered. Current debates on the roles of sugar and fat in human health will be introduced.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures and independent study.

Independent Study130
Total study time150



MethodPercentage contribution
Written exam  (2 hours) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Written exam 100%

Linked modules

Pre Requisites: BIOL2010 or BIOL2012 or BIOL2013

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