Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Towards Healthier Living Across the Lifespan

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Health, Physical Education and Consumer Studies

DESCRIPTION This study-unit is based on the principles of WHO declarations regarding health and well-being, including the Agenda 21 document and the Ottawa and Jakarta Charters for health promotion. Its purpose is to focus on issues and to present strategies for reaching the goals of various national health strategies and policies.

The study-unit provides an overview of the aetiology, symptoms and population trends of the most common lifestyle-related diseases and conditions, together with current treatment strategies, as well as preventive measures for reducing risk factors for health. The emphasis is on the value of making informed behavioural choices and opting for the healthier alternative, leading to the maintenance of good health throughout the life-cycle. Identification of personal health-related behaviours and formulation of a personal wellness plan are integral components of this study-unit.

Study-Unit Aims:

This study-unit aims at expanding on students' knowledge of various non-communicable diseases and other health problems prevalent globally, but more specifically in Malta. The aetiology, treatment and prevention of the most common health problems will be tackled, also urging students to reflect on their own lifestyles and modify as necessary.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Analyse, through discussion, various definitions and perspectives of health and healthier lifestyles.
- Outline, based on online research, major diseases and conditions prevalent globally and in developed countries.
- Discuss in groups various lifestyle factors that influence health status, describing main risk factors for a variety of diseases and conditions.
- Describe the causes, aetiology, symptoms and basic treatment of common lifestyle-related diseases prevalent locally and in other developed countries.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Translate scientific knowledge on health problems into actionable guidance for healthier lifestyles.
- Present and choose strategies for preventive actions in different scenarios for a healthier lifestyle.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Text:

- Byrd-Bredbenner C., Moe G., Beshgetoor D. & Berning J. (Latest edition), Wardlaw's Perspectives in Nutrition (International Edition). McGraw-Hill.

Supplementary Readings:

- Ministry for Education & Employment & Parliamentary Secretariat for Health. (2015). A Whole School Approach to a Healthy Lifestyle: Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Policy.
Retrieved from
- Ministry for Education, Youth and Employment. (2007). Healthy Eating Lifestyle Plan.
Retrieved from
- Ministry for Health. Department for Policy in Health. (2014) A National Health Systems Strategy for Malta: 2014-2020.
Retrieved from
- Ministry for Health, the Elderly and Community Care. (2012). A Healthy Weight for Life: A National Strategy for Malta 2012-2020. Malta: Ministry for Health, the Elderly and Community Care.
- Ministry for Health, the Elderly and Community Care. (2011). The National Cancer Plan 2011-2013.
Retrieved from
- Ministry for Health, the Elderly and Community Care. (2010). A Strategy for the Prevention and Control of Non Communicable Disease in Malta.
Retrieved from
- Ministry for Health, the Elderly and Community Care, Department for Health, Department of Health Information and Research Strategy. (2012). The European Health Examination Survey Pilot Study 2010.
Retrieved from
- Ministry for Health, the Elderly and Community Care, Department of Health Information and Research Strategy and Sustainability Division, Secretariat for Health. (2008). European Health Interview Survey 2008: Lifestyle.
Retrieved from
- Ministry for Health, the Elderly and Community Care, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Directorate (2012). Report on the Health Behaviour Study in School Children. Malta: Ministry for Health, the Elderly and Community Care.
- Ministry for Social Development, Department of Health Policy & Planning, Health Division. (1996). Health Vision 2000: A national health policy. Malta: Ministry for Social Development.
- National Statistics Office, Malta. (2009). Lifestyle Survey 2007. Retrieved from
- Parliamentary Secretariat for Health, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Directorate. (2014). Food and Nutrition Policy and Action Plan. Malta: Ministry for Health.
Retrieved from
- Tessier, S & Gerber M. (2005). Factors Determining the Nutrition Transition in Two Mediterranean Islands: Sardinia and Malta. Public Health Nutr.2005 Dec, 8(8): 1286-92
- World Cancer Research Fund (2007). Food, Nutrition, Physical activity and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective.
Retrieved from
- World Health Organisation. (2010). Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health. Geneva: WHO Press.
Retrieved from
- World Health Organisation. (2008). Inequalities in Young People’s Health. Health Behaviour in School-aged Children: International Report from the 2005-2006 Survey.
Retrieved from

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Fieldwork

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (2 Hours) SEM1 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Suzanne Piscopo

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2019/0, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.