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HUNT233 Nutrition and Health: Concepts and Controversies

An introduction to nutrition as it relates to health and disease.

Many myths surround nutrition and health. The aim of this paper is to answer some of the common questions and beliefs that people have about food and their bodies, such as:

  • Is following a low carbohydrate diet a good idea if I want to lose weight?
  • Can I eat milk and dairy products if I am lactose intolerant?
  • If I want to build more muscle, a protein powder supplement is necessary, isn't it?
  • Do our bodies absorb the calcium in vegetables better than the calcium in dairy products?
  • Are dairy products necessary to ensure an adequate calcium intake?
  • Does eating after 6pm make me fat?
  • Would you recommend someone to eat smaller meals more often or larger meals less often to control their weight?
  • To become a vegetarian don't I just have to stop eating meat?
This paper is an introduction to nutrition as it relates to health, using current and controversial issues to reinforce basic nutrition principles.

Paper title Nutrition and Health: Concepts and Controversies
Paper code HUNT233
Subject Human Nutrition
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Summer School
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,038.45
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,492.80

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36 points
HUNT 221, HUNT 222, HUNT 223, HUNT 201, HUNT 202
Schedule C
(i) Students who have not passed 36 points may be admitted with approval from the Head of Department. (ii) HUNT 233 cannot be credited to a degree if HUNT 221, 222, 223, 201 or 202 has been passed previously or is being taken concurrently.
Teaching staff
Dr Katherine Black
Paper Structure
This paper provides a basic introduction to nutrition as it relates to health. Current and controversial issues will be discussed to help reinforce basic nutrition principles including the absorption, digestion and metabolism of nutrients. Topics to be included range from defining a healthy diet, 'good' versus 'bad' fats, artificial sweeteners, pros and cons of vegetarianism, dieting and weight loss, dietary supplements, and food intolerances and allergies. The different nutritional needs and practices of individuals at different stages of the life cycle will be identified, such as 'eating for two', breastfeeding, childhood feeding and nutritional problems, eating disorders during adolescence and maintaining healthy eating patterns during adulthood. Tutorial sessions will be held each week, at which time practical activities will be conducted, such as conducting nutrition assessments, performing anthropometric measurements, evaluating diets and using nutritional assessment software.
Teaching Arrangements
Ten hours of lectures/tutorials per week
Understanding Nutrition. 3rd edition Australian & New Zealand. Whitney, Rolfes, Crowe, Cameron-Smith and Walsh. Cengage-Learning. 2017
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Communication, Critical thinking, Information literacy.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
By the end of this paper students should be able to:
  1. Describe the effects of nutrients on health and to appropriately determine foods high in specific nutrients
  2. Evaluate the benefits of different foods for certain populations
  3. Understand the limitations of dietary assessment
  4. Describe the needs of specific population groups

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Summer School

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Monday 10:00-11:50 2-7
Tuesday 10:00-11:50 2-5, 7
Wednesday 10:00-11:50 2-7
Friday 10:00-11:50 2-3, 5-7