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Weight loss fads in the form of diets and exercise regimes (with mostly unrealistic claims) are ubiquitous in modern day life; however, there is surprising ignorance and confusion about how we lose weight, with most people unable to answer the simplest question: when you lose weight, where does the fat go? Popular (incorrect) answers include energy, heat, faeces and sweat. Surprisingly, this question has also baffled health professionals including general practitioners, dietitians and professional trainers.

This course will lift the veil on weight loss by tracing every atom you eat into and out of your body, and you will learn the fate of fat during weight loss, that is, it is converted to carbon dioxide and water and exits your body mainly through your lungs. Along the way, you will also learn how humans convert foods into useful energy, what exactly is happening in your bodies during weight loss and weight gain, and by the end you will be able to critically examine popular weight loss claims as well as your own diet and lifestyle. Diet myths and wellness nonsense topple like dominoes along the way.

No prior scientific knowledge is assumed as we aim to provide you with the knowledge to answer this big, fat myth.

Note: Students enrolled in a Faculty of Science program should not take this course but can enrol in the equivalent course, BABS1111. 

Study Level


Offering Terms

Term 1, Term 3



Delivery Mode

Fully online

Indicative contact hours


Conditions for Enrolment

Course Outline

To access course outline, please visit:


Additional Information

This course is offered as General Education.

Pre-2019 Handbook Editions

Access past handbook editions (2018 and prior)

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