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SCI 12 Z — Nutrition: A Personalized Approach

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Thursdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 7 weeks
Date(s): Apr 25—Jun 6
Time: 6:30—9:00 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Apr 27
Unit: 1
Grade Restriction: No letter grade
Tuition: $530
Instructor(s): Clyde Wilson
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
6:30—9:00 pm (PT)
Apr 25—Jun 6
7 weeks
Refund Date
Apr 27
1 Unit
Grade Restriction
No letter grade
Clyde Wilson
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Good nutrition sounds simple: eat a variety of wholesome foods and drink some water. But in our modern environment, we are surrounded by food options very different from those on a traditional farm. Low-calorie sweeteners, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and a multitude of additives vie for our attention, all claiming to be the key to improved health. Diets make the same claim, often appearing to have not only different but completely opposite perspectives.

Recently, diets of deprivation (e.g., ketogenic and intermittent fasting) have also gained popular interest, raising the question not simply of what we need to eat to be healthy, but also to what extent we might benefit from sometimes not eating at all. How can we figure out a “best” way to eat (or not eat) for each of us personally and then survive a trip to the grocery store or our own kitchen? Science provides broad guidelines for meeting our body’s needs, but only when applied to each person’s individual situation does an effective, sustainable personalized approach emerge. Each homework assignment will challenge students to apply the concepts from class to their own personal life, schedule, and food preferences. In the end, each student’s diet will be highly individualized in spite of being based on the same sound principles. Nutrition for general health, weight loss, disease prevention, and exercise performance will be contrasted in this course.

Students should be comfortable hearing about scientific findings on the topics discussed in class, but no science background is required in this introductory course. Students can choose to attend this course on campus or online. Sign up for Section H if you think you might attend class on the Stanford campus at least once. There is no commitment—you can still choose to attend via Zoom for any session. Sign up for Section Z if you know you will exclusively attend via Zoom.

Research Associate, Biochemistry, UC San Francisco

Clyde Wilson has taught movement and nutrition courses at Stanford for over 20 years, including kinesiology in the Department of Human Biology, nutrition and exercise theory in the Department of Athletics, food pharmacology in both the Stanford and UCSF medical schools, and metabolism in Stanford Medicine's Health and Human Performance program. He received a PhD in chemistry from Stanford and researches metabolism at UCSF.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.