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Postgraduate course

Human Nutrition A

Main content

ECTS Credits


Teaching semester


Objectives and Content

The course provides an in depth overview on human nutrition: on the central research questions and methods, and the importance of nutrition and diet for growth and development and further during the life cycle, as well as the most important diet-related diseases. The following topics will be covered within the course:

Research questions and methods: Measuring dietary intake and nutritional status and the effect on health: Central topics to be covered are:

Assessment of dietary intake in individuals and groups

Assessment of nutritional status by anthropometric and biochemical assessment

Study designs in nutritional research: case reports, observational studies (case-control, cohort), intervention studies in humans (balance studies, randomized controlled studies), meta-analyses

The importance of diet and nutrition though the life cycle will be covered during critical periods of life, e.g.

- Pre and periconceptional effects of diet and nutrition

- Pregnancy and lactation

- Childhood and adolescence

- Adult years and old age

Furthermore, specific dietary forms (e.g. vegetarianism) and their spesific effect on dietary intake, nutritional status and health status will be discussed. The impact of diet on major diet-related diseases (overweight and obesity, diabetes, coronary heart disease) will be covered.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course, the students are expected to have:


- Capable of explaining the research approaches in human nutrition

- capable of describing and evaluating the most important methods for assessment of dietary intake

- capable of describing and evaluating the most important methods for assessment of nutritional status, including dietary surveys

- capable of giving an overview of experimental and clinical research methods in the field of nutrition, as well as of the most important epidemological research methods

- capable of explaining nutritional problems and the importance of nutrition throughout the life cycle, from conception to old age, with the focus on nutrition during critical life phases

- capable of describing the role of nutrition in the development of overweight and obesity and diabetes, and coronary heart disease


- capable of conducting elementary statistical analyses of dietary intake data, nutritional and health status

- capable of measuring nutritional status using anthropometry


- the ability to write a scientific report

- the ability to read and evaluate scientific literature independently

- ability to participate in team work with other sudents, and to prepare and present team work

Recommended Previous Knowledge

20 ECTS about micro- and macro nutrients

Access to the Course

Master in human nutrition

Forms of Assessment

Participation in all course activities: Reading, lectures, tutorials.

The reading will be tested by class entrance tests in the beginning of each lecture (multiple choise format) (minimum pass: 80%)

Written assignment on a topic provided by the course responsible

Oral exam

Grading Scale

Marks (A-F)

Reading List

Teaching methods

There are reading lists with pensum articles / text books to each topic. It is expected that the students have read the reading lists prior to the lecture. The individual topics will be covered by lectures, followed by tutorials /assignments. The lectures will provide and overview on the respective topic, while in the tutorials the students will work more independently on small research questions. It it required that the reading material is read beforehand, otherwise it will not be possible to follow the lecture and to do the assignment.

During the entire course, the student has to write one more in depth assignment related to one of the tutorials (free choise by the student).

Course Evaluation

There is a written evaluation at the end of the course.


Exam information