Course highlights: Nutrition in the Community and Medical Nutrition Therapy II

June 19, 2018

To highlight the exceptional undergraduate courses offered by the Department of Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology, two courses are featured below, Nutrition in the Community and Medical Nutrition Therapy II. These classes help prepare students in NST’s undergraduate specializations—Physiology & Metabolism (Metabolic Biology), and Dietetics and Toxicology—become practitioners and leaders in the field of nutritional sciences.

Medical Nutrition Therapy II  

Nutrition is an integral part of patient care. Registered Dietitians provide evidence-based medical nutrition therapy to patients, including counseling to encourage behavioral changes and connecting patients and family members to a variety of food and nutrition-related resources. Being able to help patients learn to prepare healthful meals and snacks in the setting of a specific medical condition is an essential skill required for successful patient care outcomes.

three side-by-side photos of student cooking and preparing meals

Students in Medical Nutrition Therapy II created meals to serve a variety of nutritional needs as they prepare to become registered dietitians. Photo credit: Mary Lesser.

Students enrolled in the Medical Nutrition Therapy  course form groups and utilize the Cal Teaching Kitchen to design, prepare, and serve one meal for a patient based on the medical nutrition therapy guidelines required for a specific disease state. For the past two years, students have created and prepared nutritious, affordable, and delicious meals and snacks for patients with irritable bowel syndrome, type 1 diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver, renal disease requiring dialysis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and esophageal cancer requiring surgery and radiation. 

Nutrition in the Community

Offered every fall semester,  students enrolled in the Nutrition in the Community class create motivational social marketing campaigns to increase awareness of nutritional issues or influence positive behavior change.

To launch their social media campaigns, students are asked to identify areas in which they would like to see a positive change in health behaviors or outcomes around the UC Berkeley campus. Last fall, the top four most popular items provided by the students were:

  • Sharing affordable food options on or around campus
  • Increasing physical activity opportunities
  • Promoting awareness of and locations for food preparation
  • Stronger marketing to help spread the word about healthier eating options

Students then formed groups and signed up for one of the four topics to create and present a social marketing campaign to encourage healthy behavior. Once each project was complete, the class rated the presentations based on quality and potential efficacy. The following groups/presentations received the highest scores from the class for each of the topics:

Visit the Berkeley Academic Guide to enroll in future sections of these courses.