FBMNH2-Genes, Lifestyle and Nutrition in Health and Disease

Module Provider: Food and Nutritional Sciences
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded: FBMNH1 Nutrition in Health and Disease
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Vimal Karani

Email: v.karani@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
The module initially deals with human nutrition during the life cycle in health and disease which informs students on matters relevant to the interface between human nutrition and food science and which acquaints students with a balanced account of current issues in nutrition which impinge on diet and health. In the second half, a selection of topical issues in nutritional sciences which have made major advancements over the last decade are considered.

• To cover issues relating to human nutrition during the life cycle in health and disease.
• To inform students of the subject matter relevant to the interface between human nutrition and food science.
• To acquaint students with a balanced account of current issues in nutrition which impinge on diet, health and disease.
• To provide the student with an understanding of topical issues in nutritional sciences which have made major advancements over the last decade including the areas of diet-gene-chronic disease interactions, diet and cognition, functional foods and ingredients, sports nutrition.

Assessable learning outcomes:
On completion of the course, students should be able to:
• Understand major issues of nutrition during the life cycle;
• Have an introductory appreciation of the science base of controversial issues of nutrition. policy: e.g. the dietary aetiology of heart disease, immune function, bone disease, diabetes and cancer;
• Understand positive and negative influences on health of various diets, food components and nutrients;
• Demonstrate understanding of topical issues in nutritional sciences;
• Understand the concept of gene-diet and gene-physical activity interactions on metabolic and cardiovascular disease-related outcomes;
• Have a basic knowledge of how nutrigenetics findings could be used for implementing personalised nutrition and for developing functional foods.

Additional outcomes:
On completion of the module the student should
•Understand the usefulness and limitations of risk markers for chronic diseases.
•Have developed an insight into the contribution of genetic variation to disease risk.
•Have developed an understanding of the impact of lifestyle factors, in particular diet, on the association between genotype and disease.
•Understand the concepts of the contribution of foetal nutrition to later disease development.
•Have developed an understanding of the concept of personalised nutrition
•Have developed a number of key skills such as critical evaluation, use of on-line databases, presentation and writing skills.

Outline content:

During the Autumn Term the module deals with issues of nutrition during the life cycle and how dietary factors contribute to human health, healthy ageing and disease development. Specific topics include: nutrition and pregnancy, infant nutrition, nutrition of the elderly, nutrition and ageing, colonic health, nutrition and chronic disease, including cancer, bone disease, obesity and diabetes.

During the Spring Term, a range of additional topics are covered including: Introduction to gene structure and regulation and chronic diseases, epigenetics, genetic epidemiology of metabolic traits, gene discovery methods in genetic epidemiology, gene-lifestyle interactions – diet and physical activity, diet-genotype interactions- complex traits such as diabetes, obesity and CVDs, Diet genotype interactions- cancer, foetal origin of adult disease and personalised Nutrition. 

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
During the Autumn Term, the module consists primarily of lectures. The coursework comprises one short-answer test of 90 minutes (autumn term) and group presentations (spring term). During the Spring Term the module will be primarily taught as informal small group interactive lectures given by academics who have active research groups in the area. In addition, there will be a debate session on personalised nutrition in the spring term. Also, there will be a flipped class room teaching which will provide the students the opportunity to develop further understanding of nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics. There will be a non-lab based practical session where students will get the opportunity to learn the statistical methodologies involved in testing gene-diet interactions using the available statistical softwares.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 22 10
Practicals classes and workshops 11
Guided independent study 78 79
Total hours by term 100.00 100.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 80
Class test administered by School 20

Summative assessment- Examinations:
2 hours

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

• Class Test: Short answer module test via Blackboard (approximately 60 questions covering all material). Submission Deadline: Week 2 of Spring Term

• Non-lab based practical class test on Statistical Genetics. Submission Deadline: End of Spring Term 

Formative assessment methods:

Class test at the end of each non-lab based practical session.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:
Pass mark for the module is 50%

Reassessment arrangements:

Reassessment arrangements are in accordance with University policy. Reassessment of the written examination is held during the University administered re-examination period in August. Failed coursework may be re-assessed by an alternative assignment before or during the August re-examination period.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 12 December 2018


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