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Food and Nutrition Policy

1st term
International Health
2 credits
Academic Year:
2020 - 2021
Instruction Method:
Class Times:
  • Monday,  3:30 - 5:20pm
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Undergrads Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructors:
Rolf Klemm

There are no formal prerequisites for taking the course; however, students are expected to be familiar with the basic principles of nutrition. Students are strongly encouraged to broaden their reading in the subjects related to the nutritional problems and policies that are addressed in the course in order to fully participate in class discussions and in order to prepare a paper critiquing a specific food or nutrition policy.


We examine the policy making process underlying large-scale governmental, bilateral, and multilateral agency policies and initiatives that directly or indirectly affect 1) the availability and quality of food and 2) the health and nutrition status of populations. Examples are drawn from the United States as well as low and middle income countries. Discussions are led by faculty and guest lecturers with diverse experience in developing and implementing food and nutrition policies.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify food and nutrition problems amenable to policy intervention and describe the epidemiological scope and the social, political and economic determinants that have implications for policy formation
  2. Identify various policy options that can be used to address a specific food & nutrition problems in a given setting / context
  3. Describe key stages in the policy process including the role of evidence and ethical implications in/for each stage
  4. Identify the key stakeholder groups that influence the policy process and propose strategies for reaching groups and building coalitions that will help advance the policy process
  5. Identify and apply principles of leadership and governance that relate to building collaboration and facilitating decision making across the policy process.
  6. Advocate for or against food and nutrition policies from the perspective of diverse stakeholder groups
  7. Evaluate the potential of a specific food and nutrition policy to impact population health and and health inequities by assessing the adequacy of design and identifying the factors (e.g stakeholders, context) which hindered or helped policy formation, adoption and/or implementation
  8. Communicate audience-appropriate public health content, both in written (policy memo) and oral approaches (elevator speech, interview)
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 25% Written Assignment(s)
  • 50% Final Paper
  • 10% Presentation(s)
  • 15% Reflection

Instructor Consent:

No consent required