Nutritional Epidemiology


This module focuses on the critical evaluation of studies examining the role of nutrition in health and how this can be applied to public health policy and the application of nutritional knowledge to public health strategy. It will investigate the role that diet and nutritional status play in influencing human health and disease. Whilst it is a relatively new area of study its implications and impact are of worldwide relevance. Nutritional epidemiology remains the scientific basis on which most public health nutritional policies are formulated. The first third of the module deals with general epidemiological principles, such as study design, quantifying disease and risk. It will introduce students to various forms of methodological bias that affect the interpretation and validity of published scientific papers and influence their impact on the scientific community. The module will then start to focus on specialist nutritional epidemiology skills, such as assessment of diet and nutritional status (including a detailed practical schedule) and management of the resulting data. The module will also include a series of group study proposals, which will reflect the content and principles learned throughout the module.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Critically evaluate methodologies in nutritional epidemiology and interpret and evaluate epidemiological data in relation to nutrition and health.

  2. Demonstrate an ability to integrate the underlying nutritional principles with the aetiology of health and disease.

  3. Demonstrate a clear understanding of the role of health promotion and public health strategies, particularly related to reducing incidence of nutrition-related diseases.

  4. Demonstrate a critical approach to the analysis of national and international research on developments in nutritional health promotion.

  5. Critically evaluate the social, economic and political influences on food choice and understand the impact of the media and social marketing.

  6. Synthesise evidence in order to formulate hypotheses to test the origins of diet-related diseases.

% Coursework 60%
% Final Exam 40%