Published on June 20th, 2015 | by Dr Alex Johnstone and Dr Alex Mavroeidi


Demystifying Nutrition Myths

This is a guest post by Dr Alex Johnstone and Dr Alex Mavroeidi.

We are excited to announce that the University of Aberdeen has launched a free online course known as a MOOC (Massive Online Open learning Course) on the topic of diet and health. This 4 week Nutrition and Wellbeing course is aimed at anybody interested in learning more about nutrition, health and lifestyle approaches.


The main question the course will aim to answer is: ‘Can you eat your way to health?’ To do this we will help you to demystify the complex and often conflicting messages linking food, health and wellbeing. Each week, we’ll look at a different theme:

  • The makings of a ‘healthy diet’: What are the principal constituents of food? Which components of your diet can promote wellbeing and reduce the risk of diseases?
  • Why do we eat what we eat? What are the ‘drivers’ that influence our food choices? How do we make sense of available nutrition information?
  • Food and disease: Can you really eat your way to health?
  • Nutrition fads, myths and the plain truth: Is there such a thing as a ‘miracle’ diet? Do ‘superfoods’ exist? Or are our genes to be blamed for our current nutritional habits?

As co-leads for this course we have both had a big input and believe we have successfully created an exciting, thought provoking, comprehensive and most importantly engaging course. We have purposely designed the course so that it is accessible to a wide range of ‘learners’ with differing levels of experience, from general public to health professionals at a national and international level. It is organised to support new learners and does not assume any prior nutrition knowledge. In fact anyone who is interested in diet, health and wellbeing can learn more about myths and facts on what makes a ‘healthy’ and an ‘unhealthy’ diet and how what we eat (or not eat) can affect our health.

Dr Alex Mavroeidi (Left) and Dr Alex Johnstone (Right)

Dr Alex Mavroeidi (Left) and Dr Alex Johnstone (Right).

To help you navigate your way through these often confusing issues, we have teamed up with our experts and esteemed colleagues from the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health and School of Medical Sciences at the University of Aberdeen who provide the most up-to-date scientifically based information in an easy to understand manner. The course offers videos, online discussion and interaction with other learners. There are also case studies to support the learning experience from the retailer Waitrose and the public sector food body Food Standards Scotland.

This course was set up with the vision that the University of Aberdeen can offer high quality training worldwide to individuals that wouldn’t normally access these learning resources. It represents an exciting new step for the University and for ourselves as academics.

The course starts on the 17th August and you can find further information and register for the course here. For those of you who are using social media we are using the hashtag #FLNutrition.

If you would like to ask us any further questions about the course feel free to email us at

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