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CCC’s Nutrition Course Gives People the Practical Knowledge to Live Healthier Lives

DATE: 06-02-2011

Can fiber-rich diets really lower cholesterol? Are organically-grown foods healthier?  Does consumption of certain foods increase your risk of cancer? How do you know if you are consuming genetically modified foods? Do you know what trans fats are, and if so, do you think the government should institute a ban on them? Do you know what the proper serving size is for your child’s favorite snack?

These are the questions you could explore in Cayuga Community College’s nutrition course, one of many credit and non-credit courses that help people live healthy and productive lives. Offered every semester, on the Fulton and Auburn campuses, and in an online format, this course—BIO 209 Basic Nutrition—provides practical information about nutrition that can be used by anyone to make smarter choices regarding food selection for themselves or their loved ones.

The course is intended for students enrolled in biology and health sciences programs as well as for anyone interested in personal nutrition and the social implications of nutrition.

“We not only discuss the science of nutrition—including how the body absorbs nutrients and what these nutrients do for our bodies—but also social issues surrounding nutrition like marketing claims, nutrition labels, the economic costs of obesity, and regulatory policies on foods and nutrition,” said Biology Professor Joel Humphrey, one of the faculty members who teaches the course.

“We look at things like the politics behind the food pyramid and how specific food industries lobby to get the recommended number of servings per day changed,” said Humphrey, who holds an M.S. in biology from SUNY Binghamton and an M.S. in forensic science from the University of Florida. “Many of the students in the class say they never realized how much there was to learn about nutrition and how that knowledge can affect their lives.”

Humphrey said the course has grown in popularity over the past five years as more people become health-conscious and the number of health-related career possibilities expands.

In the next eight years, jobs as nutritionists and dietitians, fueled by an increase in a growing and aging population, are expected to grow by 9 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. A number of these jobs appear outside of the traditional medical environment at such places as gyms, fitness centers, wellness and holistic healing institutes, community and family centers.

 “This is one of my favorite classes to teach, and the students really enjoy the coursework and leave with tools they can use to make better choices in their lives,” Humphrey said.

To learn more about the course or academic programs relating to health sciences, visit or call 315-255-1743 to reach the Auburn Campus or 315-592-4143 to reach the Fulton Campus.