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Easing the burden of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease

16 June 2017

The University's Charles Perkins Centre has released a new free MOOC (massive open online course), revealing the fascinating way our bodies work and how chronic diseases can be tackled.

Focusing on the growing global epidemic of diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer, the five modules in the course, which take about five weeks to complete, explore how these diseases occur as part of a complex system and how they need to be treated by looking at the interrelated contributing factors.

“Our new MOOC is for everyone who is interested in these chronic diseases, from those with chronic disease themselves or who have people close to them who do, to health clinicians, researchers, administrators or students,” said Professor Steve Simpson, Academic Director of the Charles Perkins Centre.

Easing the burden of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease MOOC

Watch the trailer.

“Just as our approach in the Charles Perkins Centre is multidisciplinary, this course is multidisciplinary in nature, delving into how these chronic diseases are related by a set of common causes, and how these diseases should be tackled, not individually, but as part of a complex system, with interrelated contributing factors,” explained Professor Simpson.

These factors are genetic, environmental, psychological, economic, social, developmental, and media related, so the most productive way to ease the burden of chronic disease is through a complex systems approach.
Professor Steve Simpson, Academic Director of the Charles Perkins Centre

All the contributors in this MOOC are members of the Charles Perkins Centre and each speak from their different disciplinary perspectives. The Charles Perkins Centre’s unique interdisciplinary approach to health research and education brings together academics from science, medicine, architecture, humanities and law, for an entirely new way to think about and treat disease.

“By working together across disciplines, we’re producing novel solutions to the problems of chronic disease. Through this MOOC, we’re looking to share our collaborative approach to finding solutions to these diseases with a wide audience,” said Professor Simpson.

No one approach by itself can ever be the answer to these diseases, and it’s certainly more than a matter of individuals bearing the full burden of responsibility.
Professor Steve Simpson

“One of the assignments in the course asks participants to create an action plan for either a patient if they are a health practitioner, or their community, or themselves, so you’ll get experience in developing multidisciplinary plans that don’t just focus on medical solutions.”

Discover more about the details of these diseases, their risk factors, and the environmental and biological factors that have led to the current epidemic of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The MOOC will also give an insight into the solutions – and more importantly the process for finding solutions.

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