Nutritional Epidemiology and Dietary Public Health
Module Aims: This module aims to engage the students in understanding the importance and relevance of diet and nutrition to population health. The module will prepare students to understand critical components to adopt an evidence-based approach for assessing dietary intakes in populations, associations of diet and nutrition with health, wider determinants of dietary choices and policy implementation for population health. Through discussions on topical agendas (hot topics) in nutritional epidemiology and dietary public health, this module will advance students’ understanding of the contribution of diet and nutrition in human health and its public health implications in a global context. The module will also enable students to develop their skills to critically appraise publications, evidence and practice in the field of nutritional epidemiology.
Module Learning Outcomes:
By the end of the module, students should be able to:
- Characterise the dietary exposure across diet’s multiple domains, and be able to distinguish between different dietary exposures
- Identify different dietary assessment methods for various research aims and study designs, accounting for strengths, limitations, and feasibility. Students should be able to select the most appropriate dietary assessment methods or tools for a range of contexts and be able to justify the selections
- Analyse and interpret dietary data with different statistical approaches typically applied to nutritional epidemiology studies
- Identify and explain challenges in nutritional epidemiology and how they impact quality of evidence and application to public health and policy
- Design and critically evaluate research on the relationship between dietary exposures and health outcomes, taking into account issues of exposure measurement, bias and quality of evidence
- Apply nutritional epidemiology research and practice to a global context, including low- and middle- income countries
- Assemble a range of relevant evidence to inform dietary public health policy
Pre-requisites: Principles of Epidemiology, Principles of Biostatistics
Teaching Strategy: The module will employ a combination of teaching and learning strategies including lectures, practical sessions, small group work and discussion of hot topics or debates. Students will benefit from reading around some topic areas. Students are encouraged to ask questions and to engage in formulating responses to questions that lecturers raise. Students are also encouraged to provide feedback on the content and the quality of teaching.
Assessment: Written piece, ~1500 words (100%): The module assessment will provide an opportunity for critical appraisal in nutritional epidemiology, with specific relevance to (i) methodological and interpretive issues and (ii) aspects of communication and action in the field, including coverage in the media, public understanding, clinical or public health translation and implication for policy. Specific information and instructions will be provided during the module.
Module Length: 4 days