NUT3004 - Nutrition controversies - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food


Dr Kate Huggins

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


Nutrition controversies will focus on developing student's fundamental scientific knowledge and critical reasoning skills in the area of nutritional science. Building from earlier units that taught principles relating to evaluation of evidence and advanced research methodologies combined with a solid background in physiology, immunology and biochemistry this unit will link diet and disease outcomes using available evidence.

This unit will enable nutritionists to develop an appreciation for the controversial and unresolved nature of the reported associations between dietary factors and disease processes by providing the opportunity for in-depth, critical evaluation of the underpinning evidence and identification of unresolved questions and/or alternative opinions. Examples of current nutritional controversies will be drawn from topics studied across the range of other units on the course and students allocated to two topics.

Teaching activities in this unit will have an emphasis on student centered enquiry supported by a series of student-led seminars and discussions and a written synthesis of assigned topics.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Detail the scientific background and current consensus of opinion in a selected area of controversial research in human nutrition.
  2. Identify the major sources of nutritional literature in a systemic way in order to collect information in a selected topic.
  3. Critically evaluate scientific evidence underpinning a selected area of research in human nutrition.
  4. Discuss scientific literature and draw reasoned conclusions.
  5. Formulate an opinion based on a critical review of the existing evidence for a specific topic in topics related to human nutrition.
  6. Engage in critical discussions on the nutritional controversies assigned.
  7. Competently communicate scientific knowledge and understanding in oral and written formats.


  • Critical report 1 and 2 (60%) (Hurdle)
  • Oral presentation 1 and 2 (40%)

Workload requirements

Seminars: 2 hours/week, Tutorials: 1 hour/week, SDL: 10 hours/week.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


NUT2001 and NUT2002; OR HSC1101, HSC1102 and NUT1011; OR Must have passed NUT1011 and two units BCH2022, BMS2021, BMS2031, HSC1101, HSC1102, PHY2032 or PHY2042.