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Nutrition and Public Health



[BSc], GPH

Admission Requirements



Public health nutrition is a multidisciplinary area of expertise. To solve global problems in nutrition and health, physiological and biomedical aspects as well as the social and behavioral context are important to take into consideration. This course will focus on understanding the main function and determinants of diet and its relationship with major global public health challenges (eg. infectious diseases, cancer and cardiovascular disease).

Also, the course will focus on translating evidence from epidemiological research to public health policies and health promotion programmes, both at the local, national and international level. It will address common study designs and methods to evaluate the role of nutrition in public health as well as intervention programs addressing nutrition (e.g., behavior, food choice) and/or its societal context (eg. food policies, legislation of food fortification, and food supply at work and schools).

Course Objectives

At the end of this course, students will:

  • Learn the metabolism and function of basic nutrients

  • Understand causes and consequences of malnutrition (i.e. considering under-nutrition, over-nutrition as well as obesity).

  • Understand the relation between nutrition and communicable diseases (i.e. HIV and malaria) and non-communicable diseases (i.e. cancer and cardiovascular disease).

  • Understand biological, environmental and psychological factors related to nutrition.

  • Learn to critically interpret results from nutritional epidemiological studies.

  • Learn how scientific findings on nutrition and health can be translated into dietary recommendations and public health policies.

Mode of Instruction

  • Lectures

  • Debate about food fortification

  • Exercises

  • Journal Clubs


  • Individual letter about food fortification (20%)

  • Student presentation (10%)

  • Systematic review about a topic in nutrition and health (group assignment) (40%)

  • Written exam (30%)


Michael J. Gibney, Barrie M. Margetts, John M. Kearney , Lenore Arab. Public Health Nutrition.The Nutrition Society. 2004