Course Description

Understanding the role of food and water, and making appropriate changes in one's diet can have powerful effects, both positive and negative, on health throughout life. The burden of chronic diseases is rapidly increasing worldwide as traditional, largely plant based diets are quickly being replaced by high fat, energy dense diets with a substantial content of animal based foods. This digital badge addresses these issues and more and provides a solid foundation of knowledge and information to support individuals who wish to enhance their own well being as well as health care professionals who wish to evolve in their profession. 


Course Outline


Food production and politics are intimately connected. Decisions about what foods are produced, how they are produced, how food and animals are treated, as well as the personal connections related to food are complex and challenging. Food subsidies, school lunch programs, human and animal rights, the environmental consequences of food choices, and ultimately the health of all humans and other beings are all influenced by politics, lobbyists, and informed consumers.

The outcome of this course is for the learner to describe how politics influences the production, treatment, management, and delivery of food in the United States; and how political influences surrounding food ultimately affect the health and well-being of individuals, other beings, communities, and the planet.


Almost 800 million people in the world are suffering from hunger and malnutrition. Most of these individuals live in developing countries. However, there are millions more in developed countries who go to bed each night hungry. Children are the most visible victims of malnutrition. Paradoxically, the world produces enough food to feed everyone. So why does hunger exist? There are many causes and perhaps with an understanding of these causes and a commitment to solutions, hunger and malnutrition can be prevented.

The outcome of this course is for the learner to describe the causes, symptoms, treatment, and strategies for preventing hunger and malnutrition.


Genetically engineered ("GE") or genetically modified ("GM") foods are foods with foreign genes (genes from other plants, animals, or substances) inserted into their genetic codes. While the debate continues, most experts agree there is no consensus on the safety of genetically modified foods. Organizations aligned with the chemical/biotechnology industry provide claims of safety while numerous other healthcare organizations request transparency, clear labeling, and long-term studies on health effects.

The outcome of this course is for the learner to describe what genetically engineered foods are, how they are developed, the national and international issues surrounding their use, and potential risks and benefits associated with them.


"You are what you eat!" How often have most of us heard this phrase? While it may be a common saying, it remains a very true one for many good reasons. Food has the ability to affect our bodies and minds in profound ways. It can influence how we feel, think, sleep, and function every day. By choosing healthy, nutrient-dense, calorie-appropriate, organic foods and drinking adequate amounts of water, we provide ourselves with optimal opportunities to experience positive physical and mental health.

The outcome of this course is for the learner to describe how food affects one's mood, the types of nutrients that can improve or enhance mental health, types of eating disorders, and how to incorporate mindful eating as a way of supporting positive mental health.


Foodborne diseases affect 10% of the world's population every year, equivalent to millions of individuals across the globe. These diseases can cause extremely uncomfortable short-term health problems and very serious long-term health consequences, including permanent disabilities and death. Virtually all foodborne diseases are preventable with proper food handling and preparation techniques.

The outcome of this course is for the learner to describe the extent and causes of foodborne illnesses; types of foodborne illnesses; long-term consequences of foodborne illnesses; at-risk populations; and methods of diagnosing, treating, and preventing foodborne diseases.


According to the World Health Organization, access to safe water is essential to health and a basic human right. Yet globally, unsafe water causes millions of deaths from diarrhea, malaria, malnutrition, and drowning. The United States has one of the safest water supplies in the world, but national statistics do not tell individuals about the quality and safety of the water coming out of their own taps. In addition, more and more reports are surfacing about contaminants in the U.S. water supply. Healthcare professionals play an important role in preventing waterborne illness and in educating the public about potential health risks related to exposure to microbial and chemical contaminants in drinking water.

The outcome of this course is for the learner to describe the scope of the issue of water safety, types of contaminants found in public drinking water, water-related diseases, guidelines for water safety, and the information healthcare providers need to know to effectively educate the public about their water and their health.


Chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and arthritis are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems both in the United States and worldwide. Globally, hundreds of millions of people are affected by chronic diseases. The personal, social, and community costs of these diseases range in the billions of dollars every year. People with chronic diseases often suffer a slow, debilitating, decline of overall health and well-being. However, many chronic diseases can be prevented via a nutritious diet, healthy lifestyle, and avoidance or reduced exposure to environmental toxins.

The outcome of this course is for the learner to describe the extent and type of various common chronic disease; identify toxins and nutritional factors that contribute to the incidence of chronic disease; and state ways to assess, manage, and/or prevent the incidence of chronic diseases.

Learner Outcomes

Examine the rising trend of chronic diseases and learn how nutrition and diet impact health.

Learn to choose quality foods that support optimal health.

Enhance your confidence in your ability to support patients with chronic diseases.

Discover ways to improve your total health and well-being and positively impact your life and the life of your family.

Learn new information that can help you prepare for a career in many areas of health (including health education, public health, nursing, medicine, social work, environmental health, or health coaching) as well as other fields (such as law, political science, advocacy, etc.).

Enhance your professional marketability with training specific to the topics covered.




Discuss the political aspects of food and food production in the United States.

Explain the causes and possible solutions for global hunger and malnutrition.

Describe the potential impact of genetically modified foods on public health.

Describe the connection between moods and food choices.

Explain the causes and treatments for common foodborne illnesses.

Explain common and emerging issues in national and global water safety.

Describe the connection between nutrition, toxins, and chronic diseases.

Applies Towards the Following Digital Badges



Hardware Requirements:

This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac.

Software Requirements:

PC: Windows 8 or later.

Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.

Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.

Adobe Acrobat Reader


Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.

Thank you for your interest in this course. While we currently do not have a section open for enrollment, we invite you to join us the next time the class is offered. To ensure you don’t miss out, please complete a Course Inquiry and we’ll be sure to notify you as soon as the next enrollment opens.
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