Food, Nutrition and the Digestive System

Use the text, the films and the assigned articles/links to contemplate the realms of nutrition and the digestive system. The previous modules on cancer and infectious diseases have possibly triggered a wish to stay healthy to avoid these tragic aspects of existence. Nutrition has taken on a paramount presence in our culture. A regular supermarket often carries a substantial number of supplements and a “health food” section, bookstores have hundreds of books on how to eat one’s way to health, while the media bombards us with advice. At the same time our nation is getting obese ( the fate of most nations reaching higher standards of living) and numerous diseases linked to obesity are increasing in magnitude. At the same time one needs to consider our biological system, i.e. the digestive system to understand nutrition as well as our evolutionary past, i.e. under what kind of dietary influences did our digestive system evolve. All of the aspects above are the topic of this week’s module. Opinions on these matters are likely to abound.

In this forum I would like you to reflect on the information in the assigned chapter, articles and films to form views on nutrition, obesity, the digestive system as well as its evolutionary past. You should post factual statements/ responses based on the information presented.

Questions: Do you think there is a connection between the evolutionary past of our species and an optimal diet? The film ‘Food Inc” provides a disturbing look at the fast food industry. Do you think the film is accurate? Did it affect your opinion? What is your own experience? What measures should be taken (if any)? Is the health of our nation connected to our food supply? Are there any links between what we are ‘prompted’ and ‘taught’ to eat and the way food is produced in our nation? Is nutrition and diet a business? Is there really an obesity epidemic spreading through the world? If so, what are the reasons? Does the article on dietary evolution provide any conclusive evidence on what we should eat in our lives?

If any particular article or film contain topics or information that triggers your interest you are welcome to expand on that as well. Make sure to do an original posting early in the week and then respond to other students throughout the week. Early original postings are important as the provide a framework for discussion within the class.



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