Discovery Core Experience: Natural World Course
60-Second Syllabus: Nutritional Science
About This Course:
This course introduces key concepts of nutrition while emphasizing the importance of interpreting research, studies, and marketing claims in order to make healthy and safe decisions around diet and exercise. Also introduces elements of population health and social justice around food availability, agriculture and environmental practices, chronic disease, and personal health. Students will assess their own diet and think critically about what makes a food healthy.
Why Should I Take This Course?
Food is vital to life. It's also vital to health and wellness. But if we don't know how food becomes us (yes, actually literally us!) and we also don't know how corporations are defining "food" (yes, food in quotes!) how can we navigate the world of food, health, and wellness? Spoiler alert: we can't! This class will help you understand the interconnections between food, people, equity, and public health. This isnt a science class but you do need to know why we eat, how we eat, and how that food becomes us. We all start at the beginning - no science knowledge required!
What Will I Study?
You will study the basics (What is a carb? How do we digest food? What are the elements of a healthy diet?) but we will also ask questions like, "How can a community be expected to be healthy if it only has access to fast food?" "How does the healthcare system discriminate against people with nutrition-related health issues?" "Do we REALLY have individual choices when it comes to food or is it SO much more complex than that?" (Spoiler alert: it's WAY more than what we decide to eat!). We will use evidence to inform our thoughts and learn how to differentiate bad info from good info and use that to help ourselves and others navigate the very tricky world of food.
Selected Projects & Activities:
One project we will do is complete a 3-day diet analysis to "look inside ourselves" and see what foods we are eating and think about how those parts of the food will become us after digestion as parts of our cells, etc. We will also reflect critically on how corporations and other large-scale systems have influenced what we think is healthy, what we think is food, etc.
Dr. Grace Lasker, Ph.D., M.S., CHES, CN (She/Her/Hers)
School of Nursing & Health Studies
About Dr. Grace:
Dr. Lasker has over a decade of educational program and course development experience for academic, continuing education, grants, and private industry. Her research focuses on the intersection of toxicology, green chemistry, and public health and the role of social and environmental justice pedagogy in training the next generation of scientists and public health practitioners around safer chemical design. She is also a certified nutritionist (CN) and a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). She is also an Affiliate Faculty with the University of Washington’s Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences (DEOHS) and is active with DEOHS’ Continuing Education department.
- Location: UW1-247
- Phone: 425.352.5060
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org