Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

POPLHLTH 765 - Nutrition Interventions in Public Health

15 Points

Semester 1



Explores the use of community-based nutrition interventions to reduce nutrition-related health inequalities and focuses on the use of appropriate theories to understand the nutrition issue, the use of data and research in the design of evidence based nutrition interventions, and the design of rigorous evaluation plans to determine the effectiveness of the intervention.

Programme and course advice

This course is core for students in the MHSc Nutrition and Dietetics programme. Students in the Public Health programme are also eligible to enrol in the course and the content will be accessible for both groups of students.

Students from programmes other than the Public Health programme are welcome to apply to enrol in this course, however preferential enrolment will be given to students in the Nutrition & Dietetic and Public Health programmes.

Course aims

Goals of the course

The course provides students with the theoretical and practical knowledge and skills to develop, implement, and evaluate a population-based nutrition intervention programme.

Learning outcomes 

On successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Describe and compare individual and environmental models explaining health behaviour
  2. Prioritize a nutritional issue for a population and explain the determinants of the issue using an appropriate theory
  3. Develop an appropriate intervention to address the nutritional issue
  4. Develop a rigorous plan for evaluating the effectiveness of the intervention

Content outline

  • Understanding eating behaviours
  • Introduces the theories that may be used to explain eating behaviours and the environmental context for population food choices
  • Prioritising nutritional issues for population groups
  • Identify and review current and accurate data, consider limitations of nutritional measures, identify gaps in existing resources
  • Developing interventions
  • Review evidence of effective nutrition interventions, identify and prioritize intervention strategies, address inequalities and ethical issues in nutrition interventions
  • Evaluation of programmes/interventions
  • Address key issues in evaluations such as design, measurement, and implications; critical appraisal of previous interventions

Learning and teaching

Teaching will be in four-hour blocks. It will primarily consist of lectures by the teaching staff (below), as well as expert guests from the School of Population Health and the health sector. Class and small group discussions will be incorporated to facilitate student learning. Course readings and resources will be posted on the University intranet system for teaching and learning (CANVAS), to enable students to access most resources online.

Teaching dates

This course is held at Tāmaki Campus. The lectures will occur every Tuesday from 9am to 1pm on the following dates: March 13, 27; April 24, May 8, 22 and 29.   

Please see your timetable on SSO or Building 730 Reception noticeboard on the day for the room details.

Learning Resources

Readings from the academic literature will be recommended.


Assignment 1: Rationale & Significance 25%

Assignment 2: Needs Assessment 20%

Assignment 3: Nutrition Intervention 30%

Assignment 4: Program Evaluation 25%

Course Director

Course Administrator