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Food, Culture, and Nutrition

4th term
International Health
4 credits
Academic Year:
2020 - 2021
Instruction Method:
Class Times:
  • M W,  1:30 - 3:20pm
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Undergrads Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor:
Joel Gittelsohn

Introduces the bio-cultural influences on nutrition and their relevance to international and domestic public health research and programs. Topics include theoretical and methodological issues in nutritional anthropology, an overview of social scientific contributions to nutrition focusing on cultural perspectives of infant feeding, social impacts on under- and overnutrition, comparisons of Eastern and Western traditions of nutrition and the role of nutritional anthropology in the development of public health interventions.

Learning Objectives:

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

  1. Understand the significance of culture as it relates to food behavior and nutritional status in contemporary human populations
  2. Discuss how culture interacts conceptually with other aspects of human existence (behavior, social, historical, economic, etc.)
  3. Describe some of the main theoretical approaches that have been used to guide nutrition interventions
  4. Apply cultural and behavioral information to the development, implementation and evaluation of nutrition intervention programs
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 10% Participation
  • 30% Lab Assignments
  • 15% Review of an ethnography
  • 40% Final Project
  • 5% Peer-feedback

Instructor Consent:

Consent required for all students

Consent Note:

Students must get consent from instructor prior to registering

For consent, contact: