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Nutrition and Public Health




Admissions requirements

Recommended: Biology and/or Chemistry (at LUC or highschool).


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 be able to:

  • Summarize the metabolism and function of basic nutrients

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

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

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

  • Critically interpret results from nutritional epidemiological studies.

  • Translate scientific findings on nutrition and health into dietary recommendations and public health policies.


Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction

Debate about food fortification
Journal club
Nutritional assessment laboratory


Individual letter about food fortification (20%)
Student presentation (15%)
Group Assignment: Systematic review about a topic in nutrition and health (30%, individual performance will be reflected)
In-class participation (5%)
Written exam (30%)


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list

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


This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Curriculum Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact


Dr. Jessica Kiefte-de Jong,