PHY3102 - Nutrition, metabolism and body weight - 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.




Dr. Belinda Henry

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


The unit will build on knowledge of body systems acquired in year 2 and will commence with an exposition of the major nutrient groups, their digestion, absorption, intracellular processing, metabolism and storage. This will lead on to a consideration of the ways in which stored nutrients are retrieved and of nutrient and energy fluxes within the body. The sensing of food intake and nutrient stores will be described for each class of nutrients at the peripheral and central levels and the physiological regulation of appetite will be addressed. Common and important disorders including obesity, metabolic diseases and diabetes will be studied. Aspects which include measurement of body mass and body composition, determination of food preferences, mechanisms of dysregulation of body mass, and interactions of disordered metabolism with the endocrine, cardiovascular and reproductive systems will be studied. The role of public information and therapeutic interventions including a consideration of alternative therapies from the perspective of evidence-based practice will also be covered.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Describe the chemical, energetic and physiological attributes of the major nutrient groups and use this knowledge to explain whole body energy balance and nutrient stores;
  2. Explain how peripheral and central mechanisms sense food intake and match this to body mass and energy stores;
  3. Evaluate theories for eating and body mass disorders (and their treatment);
  4. Critically evaluate the scientific literature and write scientific reports and essays;
  5. Demonstrate scientific laboratory skills, including dissection, data analysis and graphing.


In-semester quizzes: 20%

Laboratory reports: 20%

Assignments: 20%

Examination (2 hours): 40% (Hurdle)

This unit is subject to the Hurdle and Threshold Standards policiesHurdle and Threshold Standards policies ( of the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences.

Workload requirements

Two hours of lectures and four hours of laboratory classes per week

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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


PHY2011 and PHY2032; or both BMS1052 and BMS2031; or at the discretion of the unit coordinator.