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Elite Classes for the Masses

Top-ranked universities from UC Berkley to Harvard are increasingly offering free online courses to the masses where college credit is earned.  The move causes critics to say that top universities are diluting their college brands while advocates say on the contrary, these higher institutions of learning are enhancing it. Some 1.7 people around the world are taking advantage of these free classes.

One such online course with implications to the restaurant industry can be found at John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health professor Prof. Kevin Frick offers a free course on the principles of obesity economics. His four-week course explores the economic motivation for consumer choice in obesity and how government policies could impact those choices. It includes quizzes and a required written essay that is peer reviewed.

The professor's course description explains, "This course explores how consumer choices lead to individuals being different weights and discusses whether there is an economic rationale for government intervention in the markets most closely related to food and activity choices."

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