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Nutrition Programs, Policy and Politics in the United States: the Impact On Maternal, Child and Family Health

2nd term
Population, Family and Reproductive Health
3 credits
Academic Year:
2022 - 2023
Instruction Method:
Asynchronous Online
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Undergrads Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructors:
Susan Gross

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


Addresses nutrition programs, policies, and politics in the US, and their impact on economically disadvantaged mothers, children, and families. Defines and explores food insecurity. Examines nutrition programs directed at high-risk populations. Reviews the administrative and political considerations of nutrition programs and discusses the nutritional impact on health, growth and development. Discusses corporate and commercial interests, their role in shaping the political discussion and their impact on food and nutrition policy.

Learning Objectives:

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

  1. Explain the historical basis for domestic nutrition policy and programs directed at economically disadvantaged women, infants, children, and families
  2. Describe the politics of nutrition supplementation programs in the United States
  3. Define nutritional risk and food insecurity to understand the basis for characterizing individuals as food insecure, hungry, obese and malnourished; and to more accurately assess nutritional risk, and target public health interventions
  4. Assess the efficacy and limitations of major nutrition programs
  5. Describe how policy processes impact public health nutrition programs directed at pregnant women, children and families
  6. Describe and apply an understanding of the varying stakeholder perspectives on current and critical issues pertaining to family nutrition policy
  7. Advocate for a political, social or economic policy or program that will impact the health and nutritional status of pregnant women, children and families
Methods of Assessment:

15% Class Participation; 35% Letter to the editor, op-ed assignment; 50% Final Examination

Enrollment Restriction:


Instructor Consent:

No consent required