Nutrition (NUTR) 405

Nutrition in Health and Disease (Revision 6)

NUTR 405 Course website

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online. Computer access required.

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Science

Prerequisite: NUTR 330

Precluded Course: NUTR 331. (NUTR 405 may not be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for NUTR 331.)

Faculty: Faculty of Science and Technology

Health & Nutrition Studies home page

NUTR 405 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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There is now a large body of evidence demonstrating that diet has a major impact on health. In this course we examine this subject. We start by looking at nutrition research. Without some understanding of how nutrition advances are made, you cannot properly appreciate the significance of conflicting claims. From there we survey the dietary causes of chronic diseases related to lifestyle, including hypertension, coronary heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer. Later units deal with other special topics.

This course examines many controversial areas. The student must understand that nutrition science is in constant flux—a “consensus” statement often simply reflects what the majority of experts believe; plenty of other experts may disagree. In this course we look at various controversies. The course also discusses nutrition issues throughout the life cycle.

This course builds on NUTR 330. Accordingly, we assume that the student has a reasonable understanding of general nutrition.


  • Unit 1: General Principles of Research in Nutrition
  • Unit 2: Human Diet and Evolution
  • Unit 3: The Concept of Chronic Diseases of Lifestyle
  • Unit 4: Dietary Fibre, Gallstones, and Diseases Related to the Colon
  • Unit 5: Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Unit 6: Obesity and Diabetes
  • Unit 7: Diet and Cancer
  • Unit 8: What Is the Healthiest Diet?
  • Unit 9: Special Topics
  • Unit 10: Life Cycle Nutrition I: Pregnancy, Lactation, and Infancy
  • Unit 11: Life Cycle Nutrition II: Children, Teenagers, and the Elderly
  • Unit 12: Nutrition and Exercise
  • Unit 13: Consumer Concerns, Environmental Issues, and Hunger


To receive credit for NUTR 405, you must obtain at least 55% on the final examination, 60% on assignments 1 and 2, and obtain an overall course mark of at least 60%. The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Assignment 1 Assignment 2 Midterm Exam Final Exam Total
15% 12% 33% 40% 100%

The midterm and final examinations for this course must be taken online with an AU approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators that can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Whitney, E., Rolfes, S., Hammond, G., & Piché, L. (2013). Understanding Nutrition (1st Canadian Ed.). Toronto: Nelson. [print]

Other Materials

Canada's Food Guide (will be provided) All other learning resources will be available online.

Diet Analysis+ (10.1). (2008). Salem, OR: Wadsworth Cengage Learning. [online]

Challenge for Credit Course Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.

Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the NUTR 405 challenge registration, you must achieve a minimum grade of “C-” (60 percent) on the challenge examination.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 6, June 18, 2013.

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Updated May 26 2016 by Student & Academic Services