Nutrition and Public Health



Course Number





In the first phase of this course we will cover the biology of nutrition and work as a learning community to answer the following questions: What happens inside our bodies when we eat food? How do our bodies break down food and use the nutrients from the food we eat for energy and growth? What types of nutrients do we need? Why does this differ by country/culture? How much of each nutrient do we need? Where does each essential vitamin and mineral come from? Why do our bodies need essential vitamins and minerals? Can vitamin or mineral supplements meet our nutritional needs as well as the naturally occurring forms?

In the second phase of the course we will build on our understanding of nutrition and discuss various types of malnutrition, such as: starvation, eating disorders, and obesity; as well as a variety of metabolic disorders and food allergies. In this class we will always include a discussion on the impact of diet on health with every topic covered. We will also explore inequities in nutrition – why they might exist and what types of programs have been piloted to address the inequities.


 FAIR 206A or instructor permission.

Materials Fee



Nina Planck, Real Food: What to Eat and Why

(Bloomsbury, USA, New York, 2006)


Walter C. Willett, Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy

(Free Press, USA, New York, 2001)


Carol Ann Rinzler, Nutrition for Dummies

(Wiley Publishing, Inc., New Jersey, 2011)


S/NX grading; narrative evaluations

Students will be evaluated on their attendance, preparation for - via reading reflections, and participation in course discussions. Each student will choose a diet to research and will cook a meal that follows the diet and share that process with the class. The student will also give a short presentation on the diet. Finally, each student will work independently on a nutrition research presentation and two drafts of a research paper (2000 words).


Fall 2023

Course Instructor

Hilary Schwandt

Course Subject