University of Barcelona

Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Nutrition, Chronic Diseases and Healthy Ageing

Objectives and competences

Objectives

The aim of the master's degree is to train students in the most innovative aspects of nutrition and lifestyles, on the most common chronic diseases, and on healthy ageing. The degree develops broad knowledge of healthy nutrition, diseases and disorders related to diet and nutrition and their treatment, food and nutrition of hospitalised patients, and the impact of certain diseases. It includes training on personalised diets, allergies and food intolerances, components of diets and functional foods, cooking techniques, public health, ecology and sustainability. The degree also looks at the implementation of recommendations for society through education in schools, catering, medical communities and nursing.

The sections on innovation and entrepreneurship add value to the qualification in topics relating to the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) and the potential for economic growth associated with new innovations. Innovation and entrepreneurship are of utmost importance to develop new business initiatives in the sector of healthy food and nutrition, which has a broad market and increasing demand. Thus, students will learn about the processes of identifying business opportunities, creating business models and plans, and drawing up a business project.

Competences

General competences

  • Capacity to evaluate and develop quality research, according to the design of clinical trials and the potential of the study variables in professional practice.
  • Capacity to design and draw up a clinical-biological research project.
  • Ability to write and present scientific studies.
  • Capacity to design actions so that research results can be used in the clinical context.
  • Capacity to work in interdisciplinary teams, collaborate with other researchers, act independently and with initiative, and interact with and advise other medical specialists.
  • Capacity to identify potential technological advances, and learn the procedures and mechanisms required to transfer these advances to medicine, dietetics and companies.


Specific competences

  • Capacity to explore knowledge of physiopathological advances in the treatment of diseases and healthy ageing.
  • Understanding of advances in the effects of different diets, foods and nutrients, as well as other factors that are essential to health, for application in clinical practice.
  • Understanding of the latest knowledge on diseases related with eating disorders (anorexia and obesity), and the relationship between nutrition, vascular risk factors, cardiovascular disease and cancer; and the ability to use appropriate methods to prevent or treat these diseases.
  • Understanding of advances in personalised diets relating to various health issues (diseases that require special diets, age, food intolerances and allergies); geographic and social factors (country of origin and religion); vascular risk factors (phenotypic factors) and genetic polymorphisms (genotypic characteristics).
  • Understanding of the effects (healthy or harmful) of foods depending on their composition, source (organic foods), storage, processing and preparation (cooking techniques). Understanding of microbiological and parasitological analysis of foods and the role of intestinal microflora, and the capacity to use them in professional practice.
  • Understanding of advances related to bioethical and legal aspects of food, markets and the food economy.
  • Capacity to design new foods (technology for analysing foods and industrial development) and assessment of their use in practice.
  • Capacity to draw up a business plan for developing new products, services or companies.
  • Understanding of the statistical analysis of nutritional studies, case-control studies, cohorts, intervention, meta-analysis and systematic reviews.
  • Understanding of public health, ecology and sustainability. Knowledge of how to recognise the main population factors related to health, disease, dietary patterns, foods and nutrients.
  • Understanding of the relationship between the population and the environment in which we live (ecology), and of the maintenance of biological systems in the environment over time.
  • Capacity to use ICT methods in relation to nutrition, chronic diseases and ageing, and in relationships between individuals.
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