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Students who take Introductory Principles of Nutrition are enthusiastic about food and its role in human health. But what they may not be expecting are discoveries they make about their own eating habits.

A main component of the course is the diet analysis project, in which students track and analyze their own diets. Eric Fontaine and many other alumni cite this project as a big influence on personal lifestyle changes in terms of diet and physical activity. Many even report weight loss, improved energy, better sleep habits, and improved overall well-being.

Fontaine, a physical therapist, said he has a greater awareness of his own nutritional and eating choices based on the information he learned in the class. He also said the course gave him a good foundational education in nutrition and basic biological science, which remains helpful to him today when patients ask questions about nutrition.

The course addresses vitamins and minerals relevant to public health, complexities of the obesity epidemic, approaches to maintaining energy balance for weight management, and the latest nutrition science and food trends. The Department of Nutritional Sciences has offered the course since the 1950s and it is taken by students across the University.

“Given the prevalence of obesity in our culture, it is important for classes like this to continue to ensure future students have a good understanding of the effects of both good and poor nutrition and how to modify their dietary choices to foster good health.” – Eric Fontaine ’11 KINES