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Food, Culture, and Nutrition

East Baltimore
4th term
International Health
4 credits
Academic Year:
2022 - 2023
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. Includes topics: 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. Provide models for the use of cultural information largely obtained through qualitative methods (core cultural values, practices) for the design and implementation of public health nutrition intervention programs and policies
  2. Enhance own cultural competence as it relates to food behavior and nutritional status in contemporary human populations, for working in one or more cultural settings
  3. Select and utilize qualitative and mixed methods, and to analyze these data for developing public health nutrition interventions and policies
  4. Utilize qualitative and quantitative data to select culturally, economically, socially and environmentally appropriate public health nutrition communication strategies for different audiences
  5. Design of public health nutrition programs and policies, including background, examples, and structure
  6. Communicate and evaluate public health content, both in writing and through PowerPoint
  7. Apply systems thinking to address a particular public health nutrition issue
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: