Human Growth and Development

M1 Winter Term 2002

This course was developed to address essential learning outcomes in normal growth, development and nutrition across the lifespan, inclusive of aging. Its focus is on normal function rather than disease, and is intended to achieve the following primary objectives.

Human Growth and Development Course Objectives

  • Understand normal growth and development across the lifespan
    • apply this knowledge in the approach to the patient
  • Demonstrate knowledge of ways to optimize function for independent living
    • nutrition
    • exercise
    • psychosocial
  • Recognize and appreciate parallels at opposite ends of life span with respect to:
    • physiology; impaired homeostasis and limitations in functional reserve
    • functional assessment
    • vulnerable populations; role of psychosocial support / caregivers

These objectives will be met through content provided in lecture format, in age-specific small group sessions, a nutrition self-assessment exercise, and in two multidisciplinary case conferences. The class will be divided into four small groups (A through D) comprised by combining together existing smaller groups for the small group sessions. (Please make reference to the schedule that follows for these assignments.)

The Specific Objectives for the age-specific small group sessions are to:

  • characterize normal growth & development ( e.g. body composition changes)
  • discover implications for approach to the patient history and physical
  • present age-specific nutrition assessment: Anthropometry, Biochemical, Clinical, Dietary intake, Energy expenditure
  • focus on primary prevention

The following pages list the course expectations and the overall lifespan-perspective themes that are related to these objectives. In addition to gaining an appreciation for these themes through the content that will be presented during this course, we also wish to focus on normal. Unlike the disease-related orientation of almost all of the balance of the medical school curriculum, the overall objective of this course is to understand what is necessary with respect to normal growth and development to maximize function for independent living across the lifespan.



-Mark A. Supiano, M.D.; Course Director

Human Growth and Development Course Expectations

Required Textbook

Medical Nutrition and Disease. G. Morrison and L. Hark editors. Blackwell Science, Inc. Cambridge, MA Second Edition, Ó 1999

Required Reading Assignment

Chapters 1 — 6; specific assignments are listed for individual lectures.

Web Site

The information included in the course syllabus will also be available on the Human Growth and Development web site. Almost all of the lecture material is accessible there in the PowerPoint presentations that will be used in the lectures. Due to their nature, information about the case-based discussions that will occur in the small group sessions is not on the web site, except for the Geriatrics session.


Attendance is mandatory at each of the four small group sessions and at the two multidisciplinary conferences. Students will be required to sign an attendance form at these sessions to document their attendance. Students are also required to complete and turn in the Nutrition Self-Assessment assignment.


A passing grade for this course will be achieved through:

  • Attendance at the required sessions (outlined above) with no unexcused absences.
  • Completion of the Nutrition Self Assessment assignment.
  • Satisfactory performance on quiz questions and a final (multiple choice/short answer) examination which will be given at the completion of the course.

  • Quiz questions for the preceding weeks material will be included on quizzes administered on March, 11, 18, and 25.
  • The final examination will be administered as a computer based, timed exam that will be available in the Learning Resource Center. It will be available for a one-week period beginning Tuesday April 2, 2002. It must be completed by 11:59 pm, Tuesday, April 9, 2002.


Human Growth & Development: Common Lifespan Themes

OBJECTIVE: Focus on primary prevention; maximize function for independent living

    • exercise
    • nutrition
    • psychosocial


    • normal stages/ standards
    • body composition
      • assessment
      • age changes
      • obesity
    • exercise
    • puberty/menopause


    • Functional assessment
    • Denver Developmental Screening Test / Activities of Daily Living


    • assessment
    • requirements
    • preventive
    • deviations in body weight
      • obesity
      • failure to thrive

IMPAIRED HOMEOSTASIS (decreased functional reserves)

    • immune function/ infection
    • temperature regulation
    • failure to thrive
    • bed rest - iatrogenic complications


    • longevity
    • puberty


    • decision making
    • caregivers

The Seven Ages of Man

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

As You Like It; William Shakespeare; Act II Scene VII