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2019/20 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

FOOD5426M Obesity and Personalised Nutrition in the 21st Century

10 creditsClass Size: 100

Module manager: Dr Bernadette Moore

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

In the past few decades the prevalence of obesity has skyrocketed world wide. Alongside this, advances in genomics have begun to explain how genetic variation determines body weight and how we interact with food and nutrients. This module will discuss the concept of ‘Personalised Nutrition’, which aims to integrate genetics/genomics knowledge with traditional nutritional management approaches to both: explain why some people are more susceptible to disease, and to better prevent chronic disease.


The module aims to:
- Develop knowledge and understanding of the concept of personalised nutrition, including the role of diet-gene interactions on nutritional health outcomes
- Provide insight into the complex aetiology of obesity and understanding of the influence of obesity on health and disease risk
- Develop understanding of the role of nutrient-gene interactions in determining health and disease

Learning outcomes
Upon completion of the module, students should be able to:
- Explain the role of genetics and epigenetics on an individual's response to food and nutrients and susceptibility to diet-related disease
- Discuss the etiology of obesity and explain its influence on susceptibility to chronic disease
- Apply the concept of personalised nutrition to the evaluation of case studies; identifying diet-related conditions in individuals and formulating personalised recommendations for health improvement
- Critically appraise and interpret current scientific literature related to obesity and personalised nutrition

Skills outcomes
- Evaluate research findings and scientific literature and find, evaluate and critically assess appropriate sources of material.
- Demonstrate an understanding of research design and planning and the limits of scientific findings.
Professional practical skills:
- Interpret qualitative and quantitative data.
- Learn independently.
- Take responsibility for planning and organisation of work both on their own and in a team.
Key / transferable skills
- Communicate ideas, principles and theories effectively by oral, written and visual means.
- Work effectively and independently on a given project or task.
- Work effectively in small groups and teams towards a common goal/outcome.
- Use information technology e.g. WWW, virtual learning resources, word processing and presentation software.


1, Introduction & review of key molecular biology concepts and introduction to omics
2, How to critically review scientific literature
3, Advances in genomics and Nutrigenetics
4, Epigenetics
5, Clinical nutrition in practice
6, Ethics, values and professional codes of conduct (AfN Standards of Ethics, Conduct and Performance)
7, Gene:nutrient interactions: Iron
8, Obesity
9, Diabetes
9, Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
10, Tutorial for case studies

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Group learning42.008.00
Private study hours66.00
Total Contact hours34.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

- 68 hours: directed reading for lectures, group discussions, appraisals and case studies

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Students will have opportunities to obtain formative feedback during the lectures and particularly in the 'journal club' style group learning sessions. Progress will be formally monitored through course-work assignment and group case study.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Critiquegroup discussion on 4 papers20.00
CritiqueGroup presentations on assigned paper30.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Exam with advance information on questions1 hr 50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

Questions about a case study (1 of 3 provided) will be assessed under exam conditions. The resit exam will be on a different (1 of 3 provided) case study.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 04/09/2019


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