top of page


Course Breakdown


Laboratory Component: test (10%) + reports (10%)
Mid-Semester Test: 20%
Research Essay: 10%
Exam: 50%

Course Information


Recommended textbook:
Zieglier, E.E., Filer, L.J. (eds), Present Knowledge in Nutrition, 7th edition, ILSI Press Washington DC.

Basic Information

This paper will focus on the scientific basis of nutrition and will cover the biochemistry and physiology linking diet to health and disease. Nutritional aspects of fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals are covered in an integrated manner; as are the clinical aspects of nutritionally related diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer; also nutrition in the support of health and activity including exercise and healthy aging.

All lectures were recorded with video and audio. Although sometimes there were issues and there was only audio recording. The slides were also put up either before or just after the lecture. I remember them being pretty good about this. Sally Poppitt was the course creator and takes a few of the lectures. Her notes are the best and most succinct I have ever obtained. They were never more than two pages, very easy to understand was all she expected you to learn. Margot Skinner was another lecturer who definitely lectured the most. She provides references to her material and expects you to learn them. In essays for the final exam as well as in the mid-term test.


Laboratory Component

There were 6 labs in this course:

  1. Diet analysis

  2. Lipids and proteins

  3. Blood glucose and diabetes

  4. Body composition

  5. Nutrition intervention trials

  6. Diet for the lifespan

These labs were very laid back. These labs were not difficult compared to other papers. However, you had to be strict in your diet regimes. In lab one, we carried through a 24hour recall of the food we ate and learnt to analyze it through the food works program. These labs were also very personal as we measured the content of lipid in our own blood, and nitrogen content in our urine. We also had an opportunity to visit the body composition lab in the Auckland Hospital. We didn’t have any lab report after either. Volunteers had their body mass composition measured using special technology, of which we are introduced to. We also went on a bus trip to our fifth lab where we visited the house setting laboratory in Mount Eden. We got an insight into nutritional trials relevant to nutrition. We even got to participate in a small trial, were we were tested to see if we could tell the percentage of fat in different plates of cake. The sixth lab was were had the opportunity to design a meal plan for a group of people. In these labs we had our personal results sent back to us at all times. I found these labs taught me a lot about myself and the important of nutrition. Furthermore, I was taught things that would be relevant in clinical results, like how to read and understand blood tests. I got a lot out of them.


Lecture Content

Each lecture was different. Unlike most courses, BIOSCI 358 isn’t broken into sections. Each lecture, is more or less its own subject of nutritional research. I felt this course brought together complicated ideas addressed in our other MEDSCI papers. I really recommend this paper to all. In order to get some idea as to what ideas are considered throughout this course, I have written out all thirty lectures. I will also provide a link to my one note so that you can view some of my notes. I imagine that the course will change every year slightly so I wouldn’t use these notes for study. Make your own, they will be up to date. However, they will provide an in depth idea of what to expect.

​The one negative about this paper is that they are often at annoying times like 5-6pm. However, this is resolved with the occasional cancelled lecture intended for personal study time.
Lecture titles for indication of learning.
Lectures 1&2. Energy intake, expenditure, and metabolism
Lectures 3. Obesity: aetiology and risk
Lecture 4. Clinical Approaches to obesity management
Lecture 5. Appetite
Lecture 6. Dietary fat and cardiovascular disease
Lecture 7. Adipose tissue and cytokines
Lecture 8. Fish and fish oils: heart disease, immunonutrition and the brain
Lecture 9. Diet records: dietary fat and breast cancer
Lecture 1o. Oxidative stress, antioxidants and functional foods
Lectures 11. Vitamins
Lecture 12. Salt and hypertension
Lecture 13. Animal models of nutrition
Lecture 14. Sensing cholesterol
Lecture 15. Liver disease and nutrition
Lecture 16. Body composition and disease
Lecture 17. Maternal origins of disease
Lecture 18. Folate and folic acid
Lecture 19. Nutrition in childhood
Lecture 20. Iron
Lecture 21. Total parental nutrition
Lecture 22. Nutrition and gastrointestinal disease
Lecture 23. Food allergy and intolerance
Lecture 24. Nutrition trial design
Lecture 25. Diet and cancer
Lecture 26. Calcium and osteoporosis
Lectures 27 & 28. Nutrition and ageing
Lecture 29. Sports and exercise nutrition 1: Fuel for exercise
Lecture 30.Sports and exercise nutrition 2: Exercise and immune function

bottom of page