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Current Concepts in Nutrition

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Course Overview:  This course addresses basic information about essential nutrients and their functions in the body as well as known and hypothesized relationships between diet and chronic disease. The course also addresses the U.S. government's nutrition guidelines, nutrition myths, food labeling, digestion, and weight management, and enables students to make informed decisions about their nutritional requirements and food choices. 

Goals/Course Objectives:

Relate the importance of nutrition to the prevention of a variety of health problems: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity.

Determine the nutritional value of your current eating habits.


Compare and contrast the nutritional value of your current eating habits to current recommendations and propose modifications to reduce your risk for developing chronic diseases.


 List the major anatomic structures of the gastrointestinal system and discuss the physiology of digestion, absorption, and metabolism of nutrients. 


Interpret the information on food labels and evaluate claims made on product packaging.


Evaluate the accuracy and scientific soundness of media statements about nutrition.


Conduct a nutrition-related research study, present and defend the research findings 

This course counts towards the fulfillment of General Education Foundation Area 5

Sample Syllabus

Maya Maroto

Maya Maroto

Maya Maroto is an instructor at American University in the School of Education, Teaching, and Health. Maya’s instructional focus at AU has been on global nutrition issues, introductory nutrition, health promotion, health behavior change, health policy, and health communications. Maya’s prior professional experience includes renal dietetics, nutrition policy communications, pharmaceutical sales, and community college Associate Professor. Her areas of interest include food insecurity, food justice, nutrition education, international nutrition, and health disparities. 


ABD, Community College Leadership, Morgan State University; M.P.H., Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; B.S., Nutrition and Food Science, Auburn University 

Teaching Style

I am a firm believer in participatory, experiential education -- which means I like us to "flip the classroom" and use class time to allow students to actively applying the course concepts to real-life situations while assigning traditional "lectures" as homework. I hope you are ready to expand your horizons and perceptions on food and nutrition in this course!