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Food Industry, Politics and Public Health

4th term
Health Policy and Management
3 credits
Academic Year:
2021 - 2022
Instruction Method:
Asynchronous Online with Some Synchronous Online
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor:
Alyssa Moran

Introduction to Online Learning is required prior to participating in any of the School's Internet-based courses.


Through engagement with policymakers and key industry players, this course explores how the global food and beverage industry wields their

power to influence public health, and what we can do to combat that power.

Explores the food industry’s immense role in shaping public health through effects on our physiology, preferences, environments, culture, public policies, and understanding of nutrition science. Critically evaluates governmental and private sector activities designed to

promote healthier eating, including state and local policy initiatives intended to reduce morbidity and mortality. Presents challenges and considerations for engaging with the food and beverage industry to promote public health and issues of health disparities as they relate to food environments and policies.

Learning Objectives:

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

  1. Define the scope of the food and beverage industry as it relates to public health
  2. Explain the food and beverage industry’s history of action to influence food choices and their motivations for acting
  3. Describe the social, political, and historical context in which current interventions to promote healthy eating are based, including industry’s role in influencing science and policy
  4. Critically analyze private and public sector activities designed to promote healthier eating, including the degree to which these activities meet their intended goals, co-benefits of these activities for public health and well-being, and unintended consequences
  5. Design feasible and effective approaches to combat food and beverage industry power, with attention to reducing nutritional disparities specifically and improving health equity more broadly
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 10% Participation
  • 20% Reflection
  • 25% Midterm Paper
  • 25% Final Paper
  • 20% Final Presentation

Enrollment Restriction:

Undergraduates not permitted in this course

Instructor Consent:

No consent required