NUTRITION EDUCATION ON A GLOBAL SCALE: EXTENDING REACH AND INFLUENCE

Helen Truby, Melissa Adamski, Janeane Dart, Evelyn Volders, Michelle Blumfield, Chiara Murgia, Adrian Devey, Simone Gibson

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting AbstractOtherpeer-review

Abstract

Background/Aims
Widespread web access, use of social media, and blogs combined with celebrity endorsed diets provide a noisy background in which evidence based nutrition information has to compete.

Methods
A free open access course designed for those with no prior science knowledge called ‘Food as Medicine’ was developed in Melbourne Australia and delivered via the MOOC FutureLearn platform, (UK). The 3-week on-line course covered topics relating to food, diet and health, aimed to give participants skills to synthesise and critique information about food and provide evidence based nutritional information.

Results
In 2016, 83,000 participants from 158 countries enrolled: Australia/New Zealand (43%), UK (22%) and North America (9%). Learners were predominately female, older than average MOOC participants: 22% being 18–35 and 40% over 56 years. Over half had not participated in an on-line course previously. Sixty percent were the target group (no previous academic or professional knowledge) with 29% reporting work or study in this field. Consistent with other MOOCs, over a third competed the whole course and spent 3–4 hours per week on-line. Over 105,000 comments were made by 9100 learners. Eighty two percent of completers reported the course met or exceeded their expectations.

Conclusions
Free open access courses provide an opportunity to disseminate evidence based unbiased knowledge about food and health with extensive reach. More research is required as to their effectiveness as an education tool.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
JournalThe FASEB Journal
Volume31
Issue number1 Supp
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017
EventJoint Annual Meeting of the ASPET/BPS at Experimental Biology (EB) 2017 - Chicago, United States of America
Duration: 22 Apr 201726 Apr 2017

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