Easing the burden of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease

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About this course: This course is multidisciplinary in nature, and aims to equip the global audience of interested lay people, people with chronic disease, public health researchers, health clinicians, students, administrators, and researchers to reflect on the overall impact of the burden of chronic disease . It shows how all chronic diseases (obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cancer) are related by a set of common causes, and that such diseases should be tackled, not individually, but as part of a complex system, with interrelated contributing factors. These factors are genetic, environmental, psychological, economic, social, develop…

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When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this course: This course is multidisciplinary in nature, and aims to equip the global audience of interested lay people, people with chronic disease, public health researchers, health clinicians, students, administrators, and researchers to reflect on the overall impact of the burden of chronic disease . It shows how all chronic diseases (obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cancer) are related by a set of common causes, and that such diseases should be tackled, not individually, but as part of a complex system, with interrelated contributing factors. These factors are genetic, environmental, psychological, economic, social, developmental, and media related. The Charles Perkins Centre at the University of Sydney is a unique interdisciplinary education and research hub which seeks solutions to chronic disease through a complex systems approach. Academics in many disciplines (in Science and Medicine, but also in Architecture, Humanities, Law etc) work in a collaborative fashion to produce novel solutions to the problems of chronic disease. All contributors and participants in this course are members of the Charles Perkins Centre and will speak from the unique interdisciplinary perspective that this Centre affords. The course will describe a complex systems approach as the most productive way to ease the burden of chronic disease. It then describes these diseases in detail, their risk factors, and the environmental and biological factors that have led to the current epidemic of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Finally, the solutions – and more importantly the process for finding solutions- is the subject of the last module. No one approach by itself can ever be the answer, and certainly not a simple diet and exercise approach. The entire course consists of 5 content modules, plus an extra module for completing assignments and discussions, and takes about 6 weeks to complete. Completion certificates are issued on the basis of participation in all 6 modules. What you'll learn: - How the Charles Perkins Centre recruits interdisciplinary teams to ease the burden of chronic disease - How a complex systems approach is necessary to provide solutions to a complex problem - The fundamentals of chronic disease research and where it is heading - The biggest risk factors for chronic disease and their global incidence - The biological, genetic, social, regulatory, and other influences that have inflated these risk factors - How to provide solutions globally for the reduction of chronic disease

Who is this class for: Anyone who is concerned about the growing global epidemic of chronic non-communicable diseases in developed and developing countries can participate in this course. This includes health professionals, policy makers, scientists, lawyers and any member of the general public interested in learning about the complex system of interactions between our basic biology and genetic inheritance, and our rapidly changing environment, that all contribute to the increasing incidence of non-communicable diseases.

Created by:  The University of Sydney
  • Taught by:  Stephen Simpson, Academic Director and Professor, School of Life and Environmental Sciences

    Charles Perkins Centre
Level Beginner Language English How To Pass Pass all graded assignments to complete the course. User Ratings 3.3 stars Average User Rating 3.3See what learners said Coursework

Each course is like an interactive textbook, featuring pre-recorded videos, quizzes and projects.

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The University of Sydney The University of Sydney is one of the world’s leading comprehensive research and teaching universities, consistently ranked in the top 1 percent of universities in the world. In 2015, we were ranked 45 in the QS World University Rankings, and 100 percent of our research was rated at above, or well above, world standard in the Excellence in Research for Australia report.

Syllabus


WEEK 1


Module 1 – Setting the Scene
This module looks at the impact of the increasing incidence globally of non-communicable, or chronic, diseases and how the Charles Perkins Centre is developing a new approach to this complex challenge.


5 videos, 5 readings, 1 practice quiz expand


  1. Video: Module 1 Introduction
  2. Reading: Module 1 Reading list
  3. Video: Understanding NCDs
  4. Video: How can a multidisciplinary approach solve complex societal problems?
  5. Video: Solutions
  6. Video: Module 1 Summary
  7. Reading: Preparation for Assignment 1
  8. Practice Quiz: Module 1
  9. Reading: A note on the weekly discussion topics...
  10. Discussion Prompt: Rise in NCDs
  11. Discussion Prompt: Complex systems
  12. Reading: The presenters
  13. Reading: Contributors


WEEK 2


Module 2 - The Big Non-Communicable Diseases
This module outlines the five major non-communicable diseases, Obesity, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Cancer, and the many risk factors that they share.


9 videos, 1 reading, 1 practice quiz expand


  1. Video: Module 2 Introduction
  2. Reading: Module 2 Reading list
  3. Video: Cardiovascular disease
  4. Video: Secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease
  5. Video: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  6. Video: Diabetes Part 1
  7. Video: Diabetes Part 2
  8. Video: Obesity
  9. Video: Cancer
  10. Video: Module 2 Summary
  11. Practice Quiz: Module 2
  12. Discussion Prompt: Socio-economic status and non-communicable diseases worldwide
  13. Discussion Prompt: Diabetes
  14. Discussion Prompt: Secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease


WEEK 3


Module 3 - The key risk factors for chronic disease
In this module we look more closely at the main risk factors for the non-communicable diseases and at the impact our modern environment is having on the global burden of these preventable diseases.


8 videos, 1 reading, 1 practice quiz expand


  1. Video: Module 3 Introduction
  2. Reading: Module 3 Reading list
  3. Video: Physical activity
  4. Video: Diet
  5. Video: Tobacco
  6. Video: Alcohol
  7. Video: Sleep apnoea
  8. Video: Oral health
  9. Video: Module 3 Summary
  10. Practice Quiz: Module 3
  11. Discussion Prompt: Physical activity and nutrition as risk factors for non-communicable diseases.
  12. Discussion Prompt: The NOURISHING Framework
  13. Discussion Prompt: Sleep
  14. Discussion Prompt: Oral health in indigenous communities


WEEK 4


Module 4 - How did we get here?
This module will provide an overview of the main factors in our biology, our environment, our food production systems, and our human psychology that have made us susceptible to the chronic disease health crisis.


7 videos, 1 reading, 1 practice quiz expand


  1. Video: Module 4 Introduction
  2. Reading: Module 4 Reading list
  3. Video: Our biology
  4. Video: Our food supply
  5. Video: Corporate interest
  6. Video: Corporate interests and nutrition
  7. Video: Our domestic environment
  8. Video: Module 4 Summary
  9. Practice Quiz: Module 4
  10. Discussion Prompt: Domestic environment 1 - walking
  11. Discussion Prompt: Domestic environment 2 - transport
  12. Discussion Prompt: Corporate interest

Graded: Lifestyle medicine and evolutionary biology

WEEK 5


Module 5 - Solutions



In this module we will consider in detail the complex challenges of finding solutions to chronic diseases and how these could be brought together in developing a systems approach to address these major chronic diseases and the threat they pose to individual and population health.


5 videos, 2 readings expand


  1. Video: Module 5 Introduction
  2. Reading: Module 5 Reading list
  3. Video: A discussion: Solutions
  4. Video: What is one solution?
  5. Reading: Some cutting edge views
  6. Video: Nutrition systems
  7. Video: Precision Medicine
  8. Discussion Prompt: Nutrition systems
  9. Discussion Prompt: Thoughts on solutions to chronic disease

Graded: Confronting chronic disease in the community

WEEK 6


Wrapping up
This module gives you time to complete your final assignment and to reflect on what you have learned in the course.


1 video expand


  1. Video: MOOC conclusion
  2. Discussion Prompt: Final thoughts
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