SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3B423290
Module Leader Yvonne Brogan
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Human Nutrition and Dietetics
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Normally students would have passed Essentials of Nutritional Science (or equivalent nutrition module) and Elementary human biology.

Summary of Content

This module studies the role of diet and nutrition in improving health and the primary prevention of diet related ill health in communities and populations. It includes the study of dietary methodologies, nutritional epidemiology: types of study design, the use of demographic, anthropometric, diet and nutrition data. Theories of public health, health policy, health education and health promotion are studied. The role of a nutritionist including professional ethics and code of conduct for nutritionists is addressed as an integral part of the module.


The principles of public health nutrition: programme planning, needs assessment of communities and populations, design aspects, implementation, evaluation in relation to tackling nutrition challenges. The principles of health promotion and health improvement will be covered as an integral part of studying the different nutrition related issues listed below. The integration of nutrition in to health strategies and actions plans will be evaluated using examples. Theories of health promotion; health improvement; health education; public health In addition, and integral to studying the topic areas below will be understanding Nutritional epidemiology : Aims of nutritional epidemiology, types of study design, ecological, cross-sectional, case-control, cohort studies and intervention trials, terminology, demographic, anthropometric and nutrition survey data. The underlying mechanisms involved in the aetiology and approaches to primary prevention of nutrition related ill health and disease will be studied in the following areas; Dental and oral health Nutritional aspects of dental health particularly in children. Causes of dental caries, dietary recommendations for good dental health, oral health promotion, evidence of the impact of oral health promotion. Prevention of cancer The role that diet plays in the risk and prevention of cancer, mechanisms of the effect of diet, epidemiological studies of diet and cancer, practical dietary advice in relation to diet and cancer. Strategies for prevention. Obesity Nature and causes of obesity, genetics of obesity, attitudes towards obesity, childhood obesity. Evaluating preventative strategies to tackle obestiy. Cardiovascular disease The approaches to primary prevention of CVD at national and local level, controlling and reducing risk factors and CVD at population level. epidemiology behind the recommendations. Bone health and osteoporosis Key nutrients & foods involved in bone production and maintenance, roles played by different dietary constituents in protecting and promoting bone health along with the evidence to support the recommendations. Practical dietary advice to promote good bone health. Sports Nutrition Benefits of exercise, Energy for performance, Fuels for exercise, Timing of carbohydrates, Fluids, Performance enhancement. Learning Difficulties - Nutritional issues for those with learning difficulties

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:1. Evaluate underlying mechanisms involved in the aetiology of nutrition related ill health and disease.2. Apply the principles of public health nutrition to address nutrition related challenges in the population, 3. Explore how improving diet and nutrition is imbedded in public health, health education and health promotion.4. Discuss theories of health improvement, health education and promotion.4. Critically appraise food policy in different settings and population groups, understand the steps involved in developing health policy strategies and action plans at a global, national and local level5. Ability to recognise the strengths and weaknesses of dietary nutrition methodologies and different types of epidemiological study design. 6. Review and critically appraise recently published scientific work

Teaching / Learning Strategy

A mixture of approaches to teaching and learning will be experienced. Lectures are balanced with interactive seminars where students are encouraged to study topic areas in more depth. In the seminars the knowledge base is built upon via a student centred approach which emphasises the development of interpretative, innovative and critical skills. Students will be expected to demonstrate appropriate on-line data gathering techniques for seminar presentations and develop skills in literature review and critical appraisal. Synthesis will also be expected of novel ideas to tackle nutrition related challenges.

Indicative Reading

Geissler and Powers (2010) Human Nutrition. 12th Edn. Elsevier Gibney, MJ, Margetts, BM, Kearney, JM and L Arab (Eds). (2004) Public Health Nutrition. The Nutrition Society Textbook Series. Blackwell Science, Oxford. Goldberg, G (2003) Plants: diet and health. The report of a British Nutrition Foundation Task Force. Blackwell Science for BNF, Oxford. Jelalian, E. Steele, RG (Eds) (2008) Handbook of childhood and adolescent obesity. Springer Verlag. Lean, M (2006) Fox and Cameron's Food science nutrition and health (7 th edn). Fox and Cameron London. Arnold. Sattar N, Lean M (2007) ABC of obesity. BMJ Books. Stanner, S. (2005) Cardiovascular disease. Diet, Nutrition and Emerging Risk Factors. British Nutrition Foundation. Webb, GP (2012) Nutrition, maintaining and improving health 4th Edn. Arnold, London . Willett, W (2013) Nutritional epidemiology (3 rd edn). Oxford University Press. World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (2007) Food, nutrition, physical activity and the prevention of cancer : a global perspective. AICR Washington DC WHO (2003). Diet, nutrition and the prevention of chronic disease technical report no 916.

Transferrable Skills

Students will develop skills in critical appraisal and literature review methodology. Verbal communication skills in presentations , Group work skills, synthesis and evaluative skills

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Tutorials (FT) 12.00
Practicals (FT) 12.00
Seminars (FT) 24.00
Independent Learning (FT) 110.00
Assessment (FT) 18.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam 01 2.00 50.00 40% Unseen, written examination to test competence in Nutrition and Public Health
Course Work 01 n/a 50.00 40% Assignment: Written review of nutrition challenge in the population