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HUNT223 Minerals, Undernutrition and Health

Essentials of the physiology and biochemistry of the minerals; malnutrition in developing countries.

A primary focus of HUNT 223 is to further develop your knowledge and understanding of minerals and trace elements, particularly with regard to functions, metabolism, food sources, requirements, toxicity and deficiency. In HUNT 223 you will also learn about the hazards associated with the consumption of foods. A section of the paper will explore sustainability issues that affect food and nutrition. Finally, you will become familiar with food insecurity, both in New Zealand and in developing countries in regions such as Southeast Asia and Africa, with a focus on malnutrition.

Paper title Minerals, Undernutrition and Health
Paper code HUNT223
Subject Human Nutrition
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,038.45
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,492.80

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(BIOC 192 or BIOC 111) and (CELS 191 or BIOL 111) and (CHEM 191 or CHEM 112) and ((HUBS 191 and HUBS 192) or BIOL 115)
HUNT 202
Recommended Preparation or Concurrent Study
At least 18 200-level BIOC points and 18 200-level PHSL points
Schedule C
ANAT 111 and PHSL 101 may be substituted for the CELS and HUBS prerequisites.
Teaching staff
Dr Sheila Skeaff
Paper Structure
The lectures cover:
  • The metabolism, functions and food sources of the minerals
  • Food hazards
  • Under-nutrition
  • Sustainable nutrition
Practical blocks include laboratory-based nutritional analyses, literature searching and review and writing for a scientific audience.
Teaching Arrangements
Two lectures per week and weekly laboratories.
Attendance at practical classes is compulsory.
Recommended Text Books:

Mann J.I. and Truswell A.S. (Eds.) (2012). Essentials of Human Nutrition (4th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Whitney E.N. et al. (2011). Understanding Nutrition: Australian & NZ Edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
The objectives for HUNT 223 are:
1.1 To promote, encourage and support quality learning through teaching practices.
  1. To develop in each student a mastery of a coherent body of knowledge through systematic, disciplined study. For HUNT 223 this body of knowledge refers to:
  2. minerals and trace elements and their roles in health and disease
  3. Nutrient Reference Values (NRV) and their use in interpreting mineral intakes
  4. food hazards and their effect on health
  5. sustainability and nutrition
  6. under nutrition
1.2 To encourage students to reflect upon and evaluate the ethical and social implications of their knowledge. In HUNT 223 this is included in the topics:
  1. sustainability and nutrition
  2. under nutrition
1.3 To develop further international content, context and vision in the learning experience of students. In HUNT 223 this is included in the topics:
  1. sustainability and nutrition
  2. under nutrition
1.4 To develop the lifelong learning skills of students. In HUNT 223, some of these skills include:
  1. literature searching
  2. writing a literature review
  3. data analysis and interpretation

2. To ensure that research and professional practice inform teaching.
  1. To support specific research-based teaching techniques. In HUNT 223, some of these techniques include:
    • laboratory-based nutritional analysis
    • participation in a randomised, controlled dietary intervention trial
  2. To ensure that research-active people are involved in teaching in their research area. In HUNT 223, research-active staff teach the following topics:
    • minerals and trace elements and their roles in health and disease
    • Nutrient Reference Values (NRV) and their use in interpreting mineral intakes
    • sustainability and nutrition
    • under nutrition

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Second Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system

Computer Lab

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Wednesday 14:00-16:50 28
A2 Thursday 14:00-16:50 28
A3 Friday 14:00-16:50 28


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Thursday 12:00-12:50 28-34, 36-41
Friday 12:00-12:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
P1 Wednesday 14:00-16:50 29-34
P2 Thursday 14:00-16:50 29-34
P3 Friday 14:00-16:50 29-34