OLC Level 3 Diploma in Diet and Nutrition
Obesity is now the greatest threat to our health. Why are food and water important and why do we need to eat and drink, should we all just eat what we like when we like and why is it now problematic to actually eat e.g. eating too much of the wrong food without exercising? How food is processed in our bodies, are all foods the same and equally important, does a baby need the same food as a teenager or an adult is discussed? Diet and nutrition will be defined and better understood in this course. A balanced diet with regular exercise are key to good health. Before we learn about what our bodies need, we also need to understand how we process food, how we get fat, build muscles and have enough energy for our body’s need e.g. to walk, talk, pump our heart, breathe, blink our eyes, maintain our body and grow – basically to stay alive. Lessons on diet and nutrition will be learned through practical activities which can easily be done at home.
Module 1 - The Digestive system
The first module addresses how our body processes food and water using the digestive system. Some foods like cellulose are not digested and what happens to this is as important to know as making use of food groups such as proteins. This module concentrates on exploring the digestive systems, so that, before the specifics of diet and nutrition are looked at, we have an understanding of how the different areas of our digestive system work. Why is the mouth as important as the intestine? It is important to know more about how food gets from our plates into our tissues and cells, and what foods are beneficial to our body. When looking at the subject of diet and nutrition, it is important to consider what nutrition actually is, why hunger is felt and food needed.
Module 2 - Dietary Nutrients
This module introduces the basics of good nutrition and the nutrients our body need. The important dietary nutrients carbohydrate, protein and fats and oils, vitamins, minerals and water are explained in more detail to understand their function in our body. It helps understanding of how good nutrition is introduced and teaches concepts such as "Energy Balance", "Body Mass Index" and "The Harris Benedict Equation." How people stay healthy and what foods are required in what amounts is discussed. Food can also be a problem and this is investigated.
Module 3 - Supplementary Nutrients
As well as the usual foods and nutrient vitamins and minerals are needed in our diet e.g. citric acid (vitamin C) to zinc. There is a trend to take vitamins and / or minerals tablets or herbs and natural supplements such as garlic or cod liver oil. There is a belief that vitamins and minerals are health enhancers and that consuming plenty of them will lead to a long and healthy life. In fact, this module will demonstrate that vitamins and minerals do not directly provide energy nor does consuming a lot automatically guarantees optimal health. So what do they do, why are they especially important for babies, children, and the elderly or if we are ill or run down? What happens if too much are taken (our body simply gets rid of them). It is important to know where they come from and what exactly they do in our body.
Module 4 - The Role of Fluids
Humans will die quickly without air and survive just a few days without water. In this module, why water, liquids or food containing water is drunk and the best way of obtaining sufficient quantities is analysed. 60-70% of our body weight is made of water. Water is essential to life, e.g. it helps to maintains our body temperature and it helps get rid of waste, cushions our joints, and all of the internal body functions need water. The role of electrolytes (mineral salts), and how to recognize and prevent dehydration is examined. Alcohol is a common fluid consumed as a drug and having little other benefits than providing the body energy (high calorific value), so facts about alcohol and how our bodies metabolise it, as well as the effects of alcohol on our health is explored.
Module 5 - Weight Loss and Dieting
The main reason people want to control their weight is for better health, as well as wanting to improve appearance and confidence. Generally dieting does not work, unless it involves healthy eating with regular exercise. This module looks at the effects of weight loss on health, and highlights the risks of rapid weight loss methods. The reasons why many people find it so difficult to lose weight and then maintain this loss is examined. Appetite control, metabolism and the effects of different diets, culminating in simple effective strategies used to lose weight and maintain this weight loss is discussed. Simple strategies for gaining weight and without it turning into fat is considered.
Module 6 – Vegetarianism
Surveys suggest that about one in twenty people in the United Kingdom are vegetarian whilst many more people choose to eat meat rarely or occasionally. A vegetarian diet is followed for a variety of reasons, from religious to moral and ethical reasons. This module looks at the whole topic of vegetarianism, including some of the reasons people choose a vegetarian lifestyle. Are there any health benefits of a vegetarian diet, or, indeed, are vegetarian diets always healthy? The different variations of the vegetarian diet e.g. a vegan diet and what essential elements are limited is discussed, and some ideas for meals to suit needs and provide a fully balanced meal are therefore included.
Module 7 - Young People
The nutritional needs of children and young people depend on their lifestyle and the amount of energy they use. This depends on age, gender and the amount of activity, so their particular nutritional requirements must be assessed on an individual basis. This module will be of particular interest to all those involved in caring for young people and young people themselves, to help them maintain health and balance. The energy needs of young people, especially if they are very active, as well as their protein, carbohydrate and fluid needs is explored, and assessed in terms of how these may differ from the needs of adults. The dietary needs of women planning to conceive or pregnant are also studied to start discussing the needs of the child from their earliest point of life.
Module 8 - Groups with Special Dietary Needs
The diet and nutrition of groups with special dietary needs, including women at different stages of their lives, including during pregnancy and the menopause, will have special focus here. So, for example, girls who exercise vigorously may be late menstruating (amenorrhoea). Other groups with special dietary needs include those diagnosed as having diabetes, heart disease, allergies and asthma. The signs and symptoms associated with these diseases and what can be done to prevent or delay their onset will be considered. The importance of all essential minerals and vitamins will be explored in this particular context. Our body cannot make Iron yet it is an essential requirement so how to provide sufficient amount and prevent anaemia will also be explored.
Module 9 - Eating Disorders
The three main categories of eating disorder are anorexia, bulimia and compulsive eating (some consider obesity to be a fourth type). What each are is explored, and according to most experts on the subject of eating disorders, rather than just being a problem with food and body image, it is believed they are an outward expression of psychological conflict. It may not be easy to label a sufferer as being one or the other of these, as quite often, anorexics might later become bulimic and compulsive eaters might also become bulimic from time to time. It is more useful to know and explore the distinct differences between the eating disorders (often termed disordered eating) and their effects. Strategies to help counter these illnesses and improve body image will be discussed.
Module 10 - Personal Dietary Plans
There is evidence that most people do not understand how to maintain a healthy state. As for children, our needs depend on age, gender and the level of activity. Having a health plan is not just about maintaining body weight, but more about leading a balanced and healthy lifestyle. This depends on individual needs and therefore a plan has to be devised methodically. Designing a personal dietary plan needs to take into account all the personal details of the person. A plan includes suggestions and ideas for healthy, balanced meals, treats and advice on keeping food (calorie intake) and exercise (calorie expenditure) diaries, so that any goals and targets set may be successfully achieved within a given time frame, and sustainable techniques taught.
- Details of course accreditation by CIE Global.
- 2 assessments, 1 at the half way point and 1 at end.
- The grade is either pass or fail. Based on the student meeting the criteria and decided by the tutor.
- Recommended study hours 20 per unit.
The criteria for assessment are:
- Theoretical Knowledge/Understanding
- Practical Implications
- Integration of Theory and Practice