Food and Drugs

The common phrase “garbage in, garbage out” certainly applies to what we put in our body. Unfortunately, advice on how to minimize the “garbage” has become complicated and often conflicting. In this course we will examine data related to the things we put in our body. We will be introduced to biomolecules that make up basic nutrition and we will put fad diets under the microscope. We will gain an appreciation of the effect of chemical structure on drug activity. We will examine the data behind some of the most influential (and highly controversial) dietary recommendations and drug policies. We will address questions such as: Why low-carb/fat diets? Where do national recommendations like the food pyramid and my plate come from? Why is smoking unhealthy? Why is pot illegal? While we will not make any personal dietary recommendations,this course will equip students with the ability to interpret and assess basic nutritional information. No background in biology/chemistry is required.