SHE Level 2
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M2B425913
Module Leader Emma Kinrade
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Human Nutrition and Dietetics
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Successful completion of Fundamentals of Human Physiology (M1B102521) Essentials of Nutritional Science (M1B420283) & Introduction to Nutrition and Dietetic Practice.

Summary of Content

The aim of this module is to allow the student to develop an integrated approach to physiology and nutritional assessment. The module examines the principles behind the measurement of energy expenditure and body composition. Students gain experience in how to measure energy expenditure by indirect calorimetry and assessing body composition using a variety of methods e.g. skinfold thicknesses, bioelectrical impedance analysis, waist circumference, waist hip ratio, waist -height ratio, etc.


The uses, limitations and validation of different methods of measuring or estimating energy expenditure e.g. direct calorimetry; indirect calorimetry; activity records; doubly- labelled water; heart-rate recording; accelerometer devices (pedometers, Activpal, Physical activity apps ,etc); prediction equations for estimation of BMR; use of physical activity ratios (PAR) and Physical Activity Levels (PAL) The uses, limitations and validation of different methods of measuring body composition e.g. body density by underwater weighing (hydro-densitometry) and air displacement plethysmography (BODPOD); Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA); skinfold thicknesses; bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA); Body Mass Index (BMI) and its limitations; Body volume index (BVI); other anthropometric measurements including knee-height, demi-span, ulna length, sitting height; waist-hip ratio; waist circumference; waist-height ratio; mid-upper arm muscle circumference. An introduction to somatotyping. The measurements included in the restricted profile as advocated by the International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropometry (ISAK) which encompass 8 skinfolds, 5 girths, 2 breadths, stature and weight.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:1. Understand the practice of measuring energy expenditure by indirect calorimetry and activity diaries/activity monitor (the Factorial Method).2. Understand the basis of prediction of energy expenditure using BMR prediction equations and Physical Activity levels (PAL) and be aware of the limitations of such predictions.3. Understand other methods of measuring/estimating energy expenditure -e.g. doubly-labelled water, heart-rate recording, activity monitors (including Smart phone technology), activity questionnaires, etc.4. Understand the principles behind different methods of measuring body composition and gain practical experience in some of these methods including skinfold thicknesses; bioelectrical impedance analysis using a variety of instruments; predicting height from knee height and demi-span; waist circumference; mid-arm muscle circumference.5. Analyse energy expenditure data and critically evaluate different energy expenditure methodologies.6. Explain the significance of measurements in relation to health and to be able to know where to access tables of normative data for UK.7. Understand somatotyping and it's place in body composition assessment.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

A theoretical base in the assessment of energy expenditure and body composition is provided by a series of lectures. On-line workshops provide the practical application of the theory. Students work in groups of 3-4 to develop team working skills.

Indicative Reading

DEPT OF HEALTH (1991): Dietary Reference Values for Food Energy and Nutrients for the United Kingdom. LONDON : HMSO (Rep. on Health and Social Subjects). GANDY, J (2014): Manual of Dietetic Practice. 5 th Edn. BDA. GEISSLER CA (2011): Human Nutrition .Elsevier Churchill Livingstone GIBSON, RS (2005) : Principles of Nutritional Assessment. 2 nd Edn. OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS LEE RD & NIEMAN DC (2007) : Nutritional Assessment. (4 th Edition) McGraw Hill McARDLE WD, KATCH FI & KATCH VL (2011) : Essentials of Exercise Physiology. (4 th Edition) LIPPINCOTT, WILLIAMS & WILKINS SACN (2011) : Dietary Reference Values for Energy Available from: <> ROLFES SR, PINNA K & WHITNEY E (2013) Understanding Nutrition 1 3 th Edn Brooks/ Cole WEBB, G (2012) Nutrition: Maintaining and Improving Health 4 th Edn Hodder Arnold.

Transferrable Skills

Investigation / retrieval of information Group work skills Proficiency in anthropometric measurements Data handling and interpretation Report writing Critical evaluation of relevant literature

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 136.00
Assessment (FT) 20.00
Practicals (FT) 24.00
Lectures (FT) 20.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 02 n/a 60.00 40% Laboratory report on methods of measuring and predicting energy expenditure. (1500-2000 words)
Course Work 01 n/a 40.00 40% Anthropometry/Body composition class test