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Wageningen University

Nutrition, Heart Disease and Diabetes

Wageningen University via edX


Learn about the role of nutrition in relation to diseases of the circulatory system and diabetes, which are major causes of death worldwide. You'll learn about the etiology of heart attacks, type 2 diabetes, stroke, other forms of cardiovascular diseases and how often these occur worldwide. You will learn about biological modifiable risk factors, such as blood pressure, blood cholesterol and obesity, and how they impact these diseases in a different way. After completing this course you will also have gained adeeper insight in underlying pathophysiological mechanisms, such as insulin resistance, and the role of (epi)genetic factors.

Dieticians and doctors often get questions from their patients on what they can do to improve their health. In this course,part of the Professional Certificate Program Nutrition and Disease, you will learn about the interaction between nutrients, diets and cardiometabolic disease (heart disease and diabetes).

For whom?

The MOOC Nutrition and Disease: Nutrition, Heart Disease and Diabetes is especially valuable for professionals (in training) from various disciplines related to nutrition and health, e.g. nutritionists, epidemiologists, public health workers, physicians, health care professionals, health policy makers, nutrition educators, biologists, and food scientists.

This course, is part of theNutrition and Disease Professional Certificate Program of Wageningen University & Research. Did you already complete Nutrition and Cancer? That is the other course in this Professional Certificate Program.


Module 1 – Cardiometabolic Disease Risk
In this module you will be introduced to the different types of cardiometabolic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Furthermore both biological and environmental risk factors for these diseases such as age, blood pressure and physical exercise will be presented.

Module 2 – Role of diet – Prevention of Cardiometabolic Disease
The role of macronutrient and food intake in relation to cardiometabolic disease prevention will be presented in this module. You will gain knowledge about the importance and development of dietary guidelines for the prevention of disease.

Module 3 – Pathophysiology of Cardiometabolic Disease
Learn about the pathophysiology and processes that contribute to the development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Amongst others, insulin resistance, adipose tissue, inflammation, blood lipids and ischemia and reperfusion injury will be discussed.

Module 4 – Molecular Aspects
In this module you will learn about genetic and epigenetic practices in relation to nutrition and cardiometabolic diseases including EWAS, GWAS, diet-gene interactions, DNA methylation and Mendelian Randomisation.

Module 5 – Nutritional Strategies to Reduce Cardiometabolic Diseases
This final module describes some directions for reducing the burden of cardiometabolic diseases. Several dietary patterns, the focus of future scientific research and actions of different stakeholders are discussed.

Taught by

Marianne Geleijnse and Leanne Küpers


4.7 rating, based on 378 Class Central reviews

Start your review of Nutrition, Heart Disease and Diabetes

  • Profile image for Hans Reetoo
    Hans Reetoo
    I seldom give a 5-star rating to any course because I always believe that the course could have put an extra effort into the content, structure, layout, course assessments, and the learner support platform. The course on Nutrition, Heart Disease, and...
  • I have a bachelor's degree from an American university in a health science field. I learned a great deal in this information dense course that included a nice balance of scientific data and practical application with clear presentation.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    From the title of the course, it appears that this course should be focusing on nutritional therapy for cardiometabolic diseases. However, the course didn't really focus on that and largely focused on the pathophysiology, genetics and epigenetics. Indeed,...
  • Anonymous
    I enjoyed taking this course. I want to have all the info I can get to have the best quality of life I can achieve. I also like it because I can tell other people that may benefit from it. It is primordial to have a list of suggested readings if one would like to pursue more details in the available study reports that were done professionally.
  • Very informative course, with clear explanation on mechanism on cardiovascular diseases and diabetes mellitus. Also very inspiring/ motivating to choose healthier diet & lifestyle
  • practical insights .diagnostic and preventiv method s.course content is excellent and elaborate /easy to understand and apply
  • i have alredy started to practice healthy eatin habits and invoving friends and family

    lots of thanks to classcentral

  • José Francisco Brás Dias
    Hi everyone! Thank you very much to all of you that made this course possible! I did learn a lot about all the subjects concerning this course and, as a father and a teacher, I know that this will make a difference in the education of my son’s and students....
  • Anonymous
    This course has been so helpful because it has given me more insight on cardiometabolic diseases and it has helped me to gain more knowledge about such diseases, I am going going to start working with cardiometabolic patients and will now know how to handle them with the knowledge I have gained on this course, would love to top up with a degree in nutrition,diabetes and heart diseases so that I become a professional in this field, hope you offer this as well on a degree level,I am really grateful, stay blessed
  • Anonymous
    In the society have a lots of unhealthy food that causes various diseases in human health specially cardiometabolic diseases. Even lack of knowledge about nutrition and cardiometabolic health can increase diseases. Also more that we don’t know yet about...
  • Anonymous
    Hello All. This course has definitely exposed me to the; history, current events and the potential future of nutrition. Especially in relation to non-communicable diseases. Already, nutrition can be a complex and highly polarizing area of study. I...
  • Profile image for Min Htet Zaw
    Min Htet Zaw

    Min Htet Zaw is taking this course right now, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    I like it. It's very scientific based on the fact and research presented in an attractive way. Topics are diverse but relevant to the course objective. I encouraged others to take this course. I gained much knowledge and deep understanding of the nutrition...
  • Anonymous
    The information and education received in this course has been detailed and much needed. I have learned a lot although some of the things were new. However, I was able to relate and get a good understanding under this topic as this is in fact our daily life. Whether or not you have a loved one who falls under this category this knowledge is imperative but it was very meaningful and impactful to me because my husband has diabetes and currently diagnosed with kidney disease. This is not just a course to me, it is my lifestyle experience and with thus knowledge I am able to be of more understanding and help to my husband.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    The Pros: This course does not take the typical mainstream approach to nutrition and effects. It is quite updated and quotes a few great researchers. The epigenetic part of the fourth module and gut microbiome are also great since they are up to date....
  • Anonymous
    The information given is certainly interesting and goes very much into depth. For myself, I had hoped to find out more about what role vitamins, minerals and other supplements play and whether or not we should integrate them into our diet. Personally,...
  • Anonymous
    I signed up this course looking for answers to my questions on how to prevent and deal with heart diseases and diabetes. I did not expect to find straight answers because I have learned that our bodies are complex organs. I particularly like the emphasis on genetics as it does address the fact that the same health guidelines and treatment can't resolve problems for the whole population as some of us have different genes, and also that our lifestyle preference and environment can influence the genetic behavior ("expressions"). Overall, I am glad that I am taking this course for I did learn many useful things that I can apply to take care of my own health.
  • Anonymous
    Great course ! Really nice experience, as with the other Wageningen courses. The relationship between diet, genetics and the development of cardiometabolic diseases is discussed in detail. Even though the guidelines and foundations of healthy diets and lifestyle are already established, the research continues in order to provide the most accurate and updated data to everyone who wants to enjoy a healthy lifestyle, and that is covered in this course.
  • Anonymous
    I am very lucky to be able to take this course. the delivery of the material was very enjoyable, although there were some materials that made me have to replay videos and read other literature in order to understand better. Unfortunately I can't manage the course schedule so I missed filling out 1 assessment assignment. thank you for this opportunity, the material provided is very useful especially in understanding diabetes and heart disease
  • Anonymous
    This course gives a very broad and in dept overview of all aspects of the relation of nutrition and heart disease & diabetes. The assignments made me look and work with literature which brought me more understanding about the complexity of these multifactor diseases. I will certainly also follow the other courses in this serie.
    Tip: give also the used sheets by the lectors. These symbols and overviews are very useful!
  • Anonymous
    I have been learning so much about what Cardiometabolic diseases are and what constitutes as a "complex" disease. I have been able to learn more about prevention for coronary heart disease, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases and the role that they each, can play with each other, and within the human body from an anatomical perspective and from an economical view too, with the burden these conditions have on society.

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