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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Stanford Introduction to Food and Health by Stanford University

4.7
stars
25,660 ratings

About the Course

Around the world, we find ourselves facing global epidemics of obesity, Type 2 Diabetes and other predominantly diet-related diseases. To address these public health crises, we urgently need to explore innovative strategies for promoting healthful eating. There is strong evidence that global increases in the consumption of heavily processed foods, coupled with cultural shifts away from the preparation of food in the home, have contributed to high rates of preventable, chronic disease. In this course, learners will be given the information and practical skills they need to begin optimizing the way they eat. This course will shift the focus away from reductionist discussions about nutrients and move, instead, towards practical discussions about real food and the environment in which we consume it. By the end of this course, learners should have the tools they need to distinguish between foods that will support their health and those that threaten it. In addition, we will present a compelling rationale for a return to simple home cooking, an integral part of our efforts to live longer, healthier lives. View the trailer for the course here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7x1aaZ03xU...

Top reviews

NK

Feb 24, 2019

It was very informative course. It could have more quizzes and assignments. The way things were explained in the course was quiet interesting. Keep it up!! course. I really like this way of education.

AE

Jun 21, 2018

It was an amazing course that allowed for me to be much more conscious of what I was eating and pushed me to strive to achieve a healthier lifestyle. Overall, it was very entertaining and informative!

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6026 - 6050 of 7,484 Reviews for Stanford Introduction to Food and Health

By Jeane A

Jan 26, 2016

T

By Lanese F

Jan 18, 2016

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By Christina Y

Jul 7, 2020

this course is absolutely amazing. I love the videos, the structure of the course, and how Maya Adam explained everything so clearly and concise. I also really appreciate those interviews with Michael Pollan and I agree with what he said: "eat food, not too much, mostly plants". This course has taught me a lot in a very short amount of time. I also love how the course includes a list of recipes in week 5, these are amazing. I love cooking and I love living a healthy lifestyle. I'm absolutely going to try some of the recipes!

I think it will be better to include more examples or data from other parts of the world instead of just the U.S.. I am aware that this is a Stanford course, but since it's on Coursera and there are many people from other countries that are attending to this course, it will definitely benefit them more by providing more information regarding food and health of other countries. Also I think it might be better to level up the course a little bit. Despite it being an introduction for beginners, half of the content are actually common sense (or maybe just for me, I always pay attention to the food I eat so maybe unconsciously I already knew some knowledge about food and health). But it will be great to have a more advanced course regarding the topic.

Food and health is, I would say, the most important thing in life that people should pay attention to. However, so many people just ignore what they eat everyday and don't care about their health. There are also a lot of misunderstandings about what healthy food means and what should people eat when they are on a diet. I really want to help people around me to have a better diet and lifestyle, and hopefully one day I will be able to help more and more people that I don't know of through internet.

Thank you Maya and Coursera.

By Bart V

Oct 23, 2017

The course is nicely presented with clear speakers. It gives a good and basic overview of what includes healthy foods and the problem with processed foods. The use of visual aids in the form of pictures, graphs and short video clips definitely works well with this kind of topic. As an introduction or reminder of good eating habits, this course does its job just fine.

However, I did expect more depth. The source material was very short and simple, and the few academic parts (such as the graphics charts and chemical bonds making up some of the nutrients) were quickly glossed over. This also led to many quiz-questions being almost trivial because the answer was pretty much impossible to get wrong. For example, there are many questions of the following kind: "Q: What is true about vegetables? A: 1.They contain a variety of healthy nutrients. 2. It's better to eat only meat. 3. Processed foods are far healthier. 4. They contain extreme amounts of calories. 5. Supplements are much more effective sources of vitamins." These kinds of questions do not add any value to the assignment in my opinion. I felt that a little more depth at least would be good (without having to go overboard), and maybe some extra scientific articles (the extra suggested material are all full books, which is a lot to plow through).

However, since I understand the course is not meant to be an 8-week academic investment but an introduction to get people interested in topics concerning food and food habits, this course does a fine job of that, and I like the enthusiasm of the speakers! And they do often provide the simple material with statistics, which is good.

By Carole A

Apr 8, 2022

This course is basic and definitely targetted to American people. I'm French, living in the UK, married and mother of 2 young teenagers. In my house, we do eat moderately for pleasure and cook from scratch at every meal (some meals take 15min to make!) . I personnally cook meat or fish or egg once, sometimes twice a week for my family and rarely buy cured meat. I cook mainly plant based meals with the goal of eating tasty food that we all enjoy or experience. I wasn't aware that I was doing the right thing which is nice to discover. Here, most people talk about "healthy food"; I grew up in a culture we simply talk about food and what to cook, nopt wether if it's healthy or not, but our food is looking like "food" in its original form. Despite this course being quite basic, I enjoyed it as it is always good to be reminded; it also gave me a good idea at why the United-States were in an obesity crisis: I didn't expect their supermarket to sell as much convenient and processed food. I hope that the food industry will change in the future so people can become as healthy, mobile, pain free and happy as they deserve to be, without giant corporations making millions selling processed food. Healthy food is the medicine that everybody needs, not the one sold by the pharmaceutical industry.

By Beatriz E

Apr 7, 2020

Kudos to the content itself and everything (especially the video editing) but...

It lacks something like, as a nutrition student, it needs further introduction to just food and health. I was expecting like the science behind all those nutrients, or computing the number of nutrients be needed in a single day but alas, this is a 50-50 mood to me. I knew almost half of it because it was tackled before. But it kinda sets up as a more of a "nutrition counseling" to me but without the proved studies. Lastly, I feel left out when watching these videos because it sets up to an American setting (or Western diet) so kinda disappointed I guess for an international student.

In conclusion, the whole course is just 50% home economics and self-help, 40% relation of all food and health lessons to an American scenario, and 10% science.

Recommendations:

- More provided open discussions about the lessons because this sets up like a slice-of-life, common-sense whatsoever.

- Include problems also from international countries, not just the US set-up.

- More in-depth explanations of the nutrients and the concept of nutrition

By Tannia F

Mar 9, 2019

Me gustaron mucho los videos y los contenidos. En general me pareció un curso bastante completo. A manera de crítica constructiva puedo decir que me sorprendió que a pesar de recomendar que la alimentación debería basarse mayormente en el consumo de vegetales y frutas, no presentaran más información ni recetas veganas. Pienso que el curso podría enriquecerse mucho con más contenidos que sustenten lo que dijeron en muchas ocasiones sobre el consumo de vegetales. Actualmente hay infinidad de fuentes de información confiable que demuestran que la mayor cantidad de enfermedades crónico degenerativas prevenibles tiene su origen en el consumo de productos de origen animal, además de los productos (que no son alimentos) procesados y el exceso de comida, como dijeron. Otra sugerencia que ayudaría a una mayor credibilidad, es contar con opiniones de otros expertos aparte de M. Pollan, pues parece como si fuera el único en la materia. Gracias :-)

By Arthur W

Dec 19, 2019

This is a very good overview of very positive steps towards a healthy diet. I would recommend it to people eating the SAD diet (Standard American Diet). The only really significant shortcoming is in the recipe section. While very well produced and Maya does an excellent job in the kitchen, pretty much every recipe has large amounts of refined sugars, as well as large amounts of added fat. I've long said that I can produce a tasty meal out of sawdust if you give me a good selection of fats and sugars as well as sodium. Perhaps there should be some suggestions for alternatives such as sauteing in vegetable broths or using things such as dates (or even date sugar) for sweeteners. It was nice to see some optional reading and videos such as eating animals and Forks Over Knives included in the mix.

Overall a very good introductory course to a healthier lifestyle and eating!

By Birinder K

Sep 15, 2017

This course was very helpful for me to realize why it is imperative to change from packaged processed food to 'real food'. Explanations and discussions are to the point, and cover the relevant topic in a manner that is not only highly informative but also interesting. Each of the videos in a module are short enough to ensure that you are not bored.

I will highly recommend all the home makers and parents - with small children, growing or grown ups - to go through this course. So many times we unintentionally end up feeding our kids with foods which are so harmful for their health. More often than not it is because we are not aware of the high risk of packaged and fast food.

This course has helped me to really rethink the food that we have at home.

Thank you.

By Liliana M B B

Mar 21, 2022

Efectivamente es un curso de introduccion. Me hubiese gustado un enfoque mas "plant based", considerando que los lacteos son buenos para el ternero pero NO para el humano ( ademas de las toxinas como el pus),la cantidad exagerada de azucar por la lactosa y el colesterol, etc; el pollo esta cargado de hormonas y antobioticos y la carne de res... bueno tiene tantisimos problemas ademas de hormonas y antibioticos... me decepciona un poco que aun pensemos en alimentacion saludable sin considerar que esos ingredientes deben salir o moderarse significativamente... no lacteos, no carnes=nocolesterol!!! e incluirse opciones vegetales de calidad. Mas recetas con leguminosas y tofu... mas semillas como marañones y semillas de girasol!

By Anne M P

Feb 3, 2020

This course contained sensible, basic advice in an easy to follow format that makes it easy for the viewer to adopt a few or all of the suggestions in order to maintain a healthier lifestyle. I was very impressed. It is definitely geared towards a student with a novice level of knowledge about nutrition and healthy planning and eating and although I am at a more advanced level, the course was reinforcing and I did learn a couple of new facts.

Both the host, Maya, (her friendly demeanor makes me think of her by her first name), and Michael Pollan were professional and credible while maintaining my interest.

I will recommend this course to people I know.

AM Porturas

By Visi A

Apr 16, 2022

This course is great for moms and anyone who wants to have a healthier eating habit. The materials are easy to learn and the practical examples are plenty. The recipes in the video are also great. It could be better to add a project at the end of the course, such as sharing a healthy recipe based on what has been learnt so that there will also be healthy recipes from all over the world. The communication between the course taker and the lecturer or mentors could be more interactive too; there are many questions that have not been answered. Overall it is a wonderful course for beginners in learning nutrition and health.

By Zainab J D

Aug 7, 2019

this course is very simplified and easy to understand, it is short which makes me feel motivated to continue the course. The only thing i didn't like about the course in week 5 there were using ingredients that could be avoided like butter and refined flours if i remember correctly. also you need to mention that olive oil has a low burning point, so one needs to be careful when using it while cooking ( especially virgin olive oil) while cooking, mention nutrition facts about the ingredients and their appropriate substitutions like butter.. etc.. thank you for your efforts in making this wonderful course.

By Rebekah H

Mar 17, 2022

If you've never taken Home Ec or didn't learn to cook or meal plan as a child, then this is a good course for you but if you've had any kind of basic nutritional education, then it might be a bit too basic. It was very nice though, to see food being discussed as a WHOLE, without the all-or-nothing black and white mindset that Western culture has towards food. It was really refreshing to hear geniunely sustainable and healthy recommendations and is much better than a lot of terrible advice I've received from dieticians over the years (like being told to cut out fruit and starches completely from my diet)

By Neha N

Oct 17, 2017

The course was really helpful in getting insights about what we eat and how it affects our body and health. There are some basic things about food which everyone should query upon like the food which we are eating is made up of what basic elements, how its excess and deficiency is going to affect our health, what are the basic nutrients we want and which food item is having that. This course was able to comprehend each aspect of food very well.

I just felt that the course should have been a little more detailed carrying a bit more stuff about different food items. Overall I enjoyed the course.

By Роман

Feb 19, 2016

I really enjoyed the course, but i found out that there is not enough information about such aspects as vitamins, minerals and what happens to them while cooking, what methods of cooking are healthier, which helps most to preserve most of the nutritions and why, etc...

Nevertheless, I really appreciate your job and it was amazing feeling to spend some time with you because it was helpful and i enjoyed listening to your speech, voices and the culture overall. The knowledge will certainly be useful! Will suggest this course to my friends :)

Kind regards from your russian student!

By SHEREEN K S

Jan 13, 2022

I personally feel that Stanford Introduction to Food and Health was a lovely learning experience where I got to know about nutrition, diet, and eating habits. Now, I am able to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy food and try to incorporate more vegetables and plant-based products into my diet. I am well aware of the long-lasting effects of consuming dietary fats and sugars like cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. In the future, I will make sure to teach my kids to involve in the making of home-cooked food and teach them the benefits of acquiring such habits.

By Milda Z

Jan 16, 2021

It was quite useful, although I must say that I haven't found so much of a new information. I think the reason is that I, who live in Europe have a bit different and somewhat healthier choice of foods in our supermarkets and we are used to do home cooking daily. I wish the course was a bit longer with a deeper approach and maybe a bit more scientific information as well. I'm looking forward to doing an advanced course on nutrition. However, I feel like many people will learn a lot from this course and will get a better understanding on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

By Christine W

Jan 4, 2018

This course is a good starter course for people who are interested in making better dietary choices. It is not a band-wagon attempt to suade the student into following any one particular diet (i.e., Keto, Atkins, , Paleo, Weight Watchers, Mediterranean, Nordic, WFPB, vegan, vegetarian, etc.). The focus is on cooking at home, avoiding processed foods, using smaller plates, eating until satisfied (rather than "full" or "stuffed"), planning meals around vegetables first (instead of protein centered meals), and using better quality ingredients to be enjoyed by everyone.

By Monir B

Dec 11, 2016

Too easy. The biology, history and sociology of food was the part most beneficial to me. Since I am a vegan from Sweden I tend to cook food everyday. The course seems to be mostly for people born in the USA. In Sweden, there are some problems with obesity and people buying higly processed food. However, the problem seems to be more alarming in the USA. Discussing the differences between how the average person in the USA eats with how the average person in e.g. Sweden, Greece, Japan, Brazil and Ethopia eats, would, I think, make for an interesting additional lecture.

By Kripa T

Sep 21, 2019

Thank you so much for teaching us regarding of healthy life. I have learned many skills which will be beneficial and helpful for me. As I am interested in cooking and about health, I have learned different ideas and get an opportunity to know more about food and health with the help of this site. I hope the knowledge that I learn from here will be helpful on my coming days. And hope to be join other courses related to this. I will share health information with my family, friends and relatives. Once again Heartily thanks to Maya Adam and Michael Pollan.

By June S

Oct 1, 2018

I think it is a useful course for people who are starting to get information about nutrition and how to eat well. It gives a good overview of what kind of food you should eat and why (with scientific reasons). It also gives great tips to eat better, eat healthier, and lose weight, so even it is really helpful to anyone who wants to do one of these things.

The only reason why I gaves "only" four stars is that I would have liked more detailed about, for example, good food combination for a healthy diet, especially if you are a vegetarian or a vegan.

By Olesya S

May 24, 2017

Very helpful and usable course for those of us who want to understand how to eat more healthy.

There are too many videos, articles and opinions about diets that often work for a really short period of time or do not work at all.

Understanding how our body works and what works for it - that is the key to healthier lifestyle.

I was so inspired after the last week of the course that I just got up and went to the supermarket to get the basic ingredients and also try to cook my first stir fry with veggies.

Thank you so much for (I'm sure) changing my life!

By Rutvin

Aug 3, 2020

I like the pragmatic solution-focused approach of this course, but the density of information is a little low. I was looking for more specific things like an overview of the current research on types of fats and cholesterol; research on meat consumption; specific fads like the high-calorie/high-protein "bulking" diets, keto diet, paleo diet, etc.; and usefulness of alternative cooking strategies like meal prep, smoothies, etc. Still, I would highly recommend to the layperson who is looking for a broad introduction on developing a healthier diet.

By JuNai Z

Apr 12, 2020

Course gives an overview about the food habits and what is best practice to be followed. Very beautifully narrated about the food habits and what is best healthy one for long term. Also described about potential flaws on present trends of food consumption.

But it would have been better if following information regarding food and health are discussed: Nutritional value in various type of Vegetable, Meat, Sea food, Fruits. Also a discussion on food requirement for different category of people like: children, teenagers and old aged would be great.