Essentials of Nutrition

I.     Course Prefix/Number: BIO 112

       Course Name: Essentials of Nutrition

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

One year of high school biology or chemistry

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course introduces concepts and principles of the science of nutrition.  Content includes identification and definition of the nutritional components of food; elements of digestion, metabolism and energy management; consideration of nutrition requirements for each age group and health problems related to diet.  Intended for anyone interested in becoming a more knowledgeable consumer of nutritional information.  Credit cannot be earned in both BIO 112 and BIO 113.

IV.   Learning Objectives

After successful completion of this course, the student should be able to understand and apply the following concepts of nutrition:

  1. Explain criteria used to determine nutritional status.
  2. Identify nutritional components of food.
  3. Discuss factors that influence food habits.
  4. Classify nutritional groups.
  5. Identify functions of the digestive system.
  6. Discuss food metabolism.
  7. Identify sources of nutrients in food, including vitamins and minerals.
  8. Relate nutritional needs to stages of life cycle.
  9. Relate nutritional needs to alterations in health state.
  10. Analyze diet in terms of metabolic needs.
  11. Integrate information from sources, including electronic and print resources, community resources, and personally collected data, to answer questions in the diet analysis project.
  12. Communicate scientific ideas, procedures, results, and conclusions using appropriate units, language, and formats.
  13. Correlate the research project in nutrition to scientific knowledge and principles and to other fields of endeavor in context.

Learning Outcomes

By the completion of your biology courses at Oakton, you will have gained the experience to.....

  1. Think critically – identify, define, analyze, interpret, and evaluate ideas, concepts, information, problems, solutions, and consequences. This includes the ability to compute and comprehend quantitative information and to engage in the scientific process.
  2. Communicate – communicate ideas, concepts, and information through written and oral means. Collaborate with people of diverse backgrounds and abilities.
  3. Demonstrate literacy – demonstrate the ability to read critically within content areas. Use technology to locate, evaluate, and communicate data, information, ideas, and concepts. Assess, critique, and select from a variety of information resources.
  4. Demonstrate responsibility – demonstrate an understanding of personal responsibility and ethical behavior in one’s own academic and civic life.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Introduction to nutrition
    1. Nutrients
    2. Calories
    3. Food groups
    4. How food habits are formed
    5. RDA, MDR, and nutrient density
  2. Digestion and Metabolism
    1. Chemical and Mechanical activity
    2. Structure
    3. Catabolism and anabolism
  3. Applied Nutrition
    1. Health and fitness
    2. Needs of each age group
    3. Altered health states
    4. Consumer concerns
    5. Food additives
  4. Proteins
    1. Classifications of amino acids
    2. Protein analysis of food
    3. Metabolism
    4. Nitrogen Balance
  5. Carbohydrates
    1. Absorption and metabolism of carbohydrates
    2. Sources of Carbohydrates
    3. Classification of different sugars
  6. Lipids
    1. Basic Units
    2. Cholesterol
    3. Metabolism
    4. Effects of high fat diets
  7. Vitamins and Minerals
    1. Classification of vitamins
    2. Function of vitamins and minerals
    3. Deficiencies

VII.  Methods of Instruction

May vary depending on instructor, but may include:

  • Lecture supplemented by AV materials and/or handouts
  • Class discussion where students are expected to participate by asking pertinent questions and to respond to questions asked of them

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

May vary depending on instructor, but should include:

  • Attendance at all class sessions
  • Submission of all assignments on time
  • Attainment of passing grades on examinations
  • Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Ghosh, U. (2013). Health & Nutrition SWP Oakton CC w/MyNutritionLab/Mydietanalysis. Pearson Custom Publishing. ISBN: 1269086715

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

May vary depending on instructor, but can include:

  • Objective lecture exams
  • Written assignments
  • Class attendance and participation

XI.   Other Course Information

Additional course information may vary but may include:

  • information concerning group and/or individual reviews scheduled during class time or outside of class time
  • information concerning biology tutors
  • suggestions for success in class (i.e. careful note-taking by students)
  • use of study sheets to aid in preparation for lecture or laboratory exams

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.