Human nutrition and dietetics
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course provides:
Ability to interpretate the effect of nutrients/foods/diets on human physiology and metabolism in health.
Ability to understand the mechanisms related to food recognition and control of food intake.
Ability to appreciate the effect of food processing on nutritional and sensory quality of foods.
The knowledge on the nutritional requirements in population groups;
The basic elements for the definition of the nutritionally adequate diet for the different population subgroups;
The description of major methods designed to measure food and/or nutrient intakes in population groups.
Moreover, a special attention will be paid on the description of nutrient and non-nutrient composition of the main foods usually consumed in the Italian diet.
Basic knowledge of biochemistry provided with the core course of Biochemistry
Course contents summary
PART I: ELEMENTS OF HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY.
PART II: FOODS AND NUTRIENTS.
PART III: CHEMICAL SENSES AND CONTROL OF FOOD INTAKE.
PRINCIPLES OF DIETETICS:
PART IV: BASIC KNOWLEDGE OF BODY COMPOSITION.
PART V: ENERGY REQUIREMENTS.
PART VI: FOOD GROUPS AND DIETARY GUIDELINES.
PART VII: DIETARY ASSESSMENT METHODS.
PART I: ELEMENTS OF HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY: Physiology of the digestive tract: 1) structure and functions of the gastrointestinal tract; 2) structure and functions of liver and pancreas; 3) digestion and absorption of macronutrients; 4) absorption of micronutrients. PART II: FOODS AND NUTRIENTS. Non caloric nutrients: 5) vitamins; 6) minerals. Other compounds: 7) alcohol; 8) dietary fibre and indigestible components, 9) Water. PART III: CHEMICAL SENSES AND CONTROL OF FOOD INTAKE. 10) Elements of physiology of the CNS; 11) taste and smell; 12) hunger and satiety; 13) effect of food processing on physiology and the control of food intake.
PRINCIPLES OF DIETETICS:
PART IV: BASIC KNOWLEDGE OF BODY COMPOSITION: 14) description of body multicompartments and of the main techniques for measuring the body multicompartments. 15) Anthropometric techniques for the measurements of fat-free mass and fat mass.
PART V: ENERGY REQUIREMENTS: 16) Energy requirement and energy balance between daily intake and energy expenditure; 17) Total daily energy expenditure and its components (resting metabolic rate, thermic effect of foods and cost of physical activity); 18) Methods to evaluate food energy (i.e., calorimetric bomb) and to measure energy expenditure (i.e., direct and indirect calorimetry); 19) Energy needs of the adult population, including different physiological conditions (i.e., pregnancy, lactation) and in the elderly; 20) Basics on metabolic regulation.
PART VI: FOOD GROUPS AND DIETARY GUIDELINES: 21) general concepts and description;
22) Scientific basis to estimate human nutrient requirements and recommended dietary allowances for Italian population (LARN: Livelli di assunzione di riferimento di energia e nutrienti); 23) Dietary Guidelines for the Italian population: general concepts and their scientific bases; 24) Description of criteria to formulate a nutritionally adequate diet; 25) Food guide pyramids and their description.
PART VII: DIETARY ASSESSMENT METHODS: 26) description of the principal methods used to measure food and/or nutrient intakes in population groups; 27) description and use of electronic tools for dietary assessment.
FOOD LABELLING: 28) EC regulation 1924/2007; 29) EC regulation 1169/2011
1) SINU. LARN - Livelli di Assunzione di Riferimento di Nutrienti ed Energia. IV revisione. SICS Editore, (Milano)
2) Riccardi, Pacioni, Giacco, Rivellese. Manuale di Nutrizione Applicata IV ed. Idelson Gnocchi (Napoli)
3) Biagi, Di Giulio, Fiorilli, Lorenzini. Principi di Nutrizione. Casa Editrice Ambrosiana (Milano)
4) Mariani-Costantini, Cannella, Tomassi. Alimentazione e Nutrizione Umana. Il Pensiero Scientifico Editore (Roma)
Frontal classes with the use of slides, web sites etc. During classes problems dealing with the course content will be discussed and solved together.
Assessment methods and criteria
At the end of each module (Human Nutrition, Dietetics) a written test will be submitted to assess the level of competence acquired. Final exams (Oral) will be preceded by a problem-solving test.