Food Studies-Public Health
The course will provide an introduction to the science, policy, politics, and economics related to food as a critical element of public health. The course will have a primary focus on the US, but will include a global perspective. Students will learn and apply the fundamentals of public health scientific research methods and theoretical approaches to assessing the food landscape though a public health lens. In addition, the course will cover how nutrition – at first glance a matter of individual choice – is determined by an interconnected system of socio-economic-environmental influences, and is influenced by a multitude of stakeholders engaged in policymaking processes. The course will be structured into four “themes”: 1) Why food is a public health priority, 2) Evidence, causal inference and measurement and its role in understanding and designing public health research on food, 3) The food environment, and 4) Change agents and levers: individuals, policy, and politics in food and public health. The course will use a systems thinking approach and systems thinking tools to examine and understand the interconnectedness of the social, economic, environmental, political and economic influences and consequences that affect food and public health. This course partially fulfills the Science Requirement as a science course for non-science majors.
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