Course overview

The UK faces several big problems when it comes to public health. Our growing incidence of obesity, hypertension and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases will have severe ramifications for individual health, and the associated costs to society at large. While we understand more about the genetic and epigenetic causes of these conditions than ever before, we are also increasingly aware that diet and nutrition are crucial components of an individual’s risk for these (and other) health concerns.

The situation for the average citizen is complicated by the explosion of nutritional advice, specialised diets and products aimed at ‘healthy’ eating. The sheer volume of information can make it difficult to assess what the best approach is, mainly because ‘healthy’ can be an ambiguous term in this discourse, and much advice is either contradictory or based on a misapprehension of scientific evidence. 


Diet, Food and the Nation’s Health will explore all of these issues and will provide an introduction to, and knowledge of, the nutritional state of the nation and the role of diet in health and acute and chronic disease. Through 8 weeks of online learning, it will present the scientific evidence which underpins present conceptions of ‘a healthy diet,’ and give participants the tools and knowledge to assess an individual’s diet in these contexts. Participants will also develop an understanding of food composition relative to healthy eating guidelines and will explore the scientific rationale for making health claims on foods. Finally, it will discuss the role of the food industry in improving the diet quality and health of the nation as a whole. We believe that Nutrition is a Science and not an Opinion.


This module will be of particular use to three groups of people. Firstly, it will help anyone working or looking to work in, the industries relating to diet and nutrition, or desiring to understand the links between diet and acute and chronic disease in a more general sense. It will also be of use to anyone working on creating or marketing ‘healthy’ food products. Lastly, it could help potential graduate students who wish to study for an MSc in Nutrition but have a first degree which does not quite meet the entry requirements. This course is therefore also designed for applicants wanting to bridge into a nutrition course, subject to agreement with the relevant Admissions Tutor.  



This module is available for CPD (£625) or credit (£875). Modules taken as CPD can later be converted to credit for a fee of £250.  

Contact Name for Enquiries: Fiona Lee or Cathy Crips

Email address:

Telephone Number: 0118 378 3312 or  0118 378 8722

Learning outcomes

On completion of the module, learners should be able to:

  • Understand the present nutritional setting of the United Kingdom
  • Discuss the role of diet in chronic disease
  • Critically appraise dietary guidelines and the health claims made on foods
  • Evaluate their own diet and that of others in terms of overall healthfulness
  • Critically appraise the composition of food items in relation to healthy eating targets
  • Discuss the potential for the food industry to improve diet quality and the Nation’s health
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Key facts

Course Dates
8 weeks online
Entry Requirements
Graduate level or relevant experience
Fee info
Discounts available for multiple bookings & CPD version
CQFW Level
Course Provider
University Of Reading
Course Arrangements
Full joining instructions will be confirmed by the course provider.
Course Location
University of Reading
AFTP Cohort
Course Logistics
Delivered entirely online through the University of Reading's Virtual Learning Environment over an eight week period, it is suggested that material is reviewed on a weekly basis, however, participants may vary their speed of learning to suit their own requirements. The course is available to be completed for Continued Professional Development, or with the award of 15 academic credits where participants successfully complete the formative assessment requirements during and within four weeks of completing the online content.

Professor George Grimble

My AFTP training course has given me greater confidence day-to-day and more insight into the impact of new techniques and technologies.
Andy Russell - Fresh Produce Technologist, Bakkavor

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