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.

Nutrition Interventions in Public Health is designed to equip students with the skills and knowledge needed to address health and wellbeing through healthy eating. Students will expand their understanding of how what the population eats affects their health and wellbeing, draw on existing data to explore the diet-disease relationship and population-level trends, and consider a range of interventions to improve the health and wellbeing of the population through good nutrition.  

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

  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 Public Health Nutrition

Applying public health principles to nutrition; wider influences on food choices (social, economic, political and legal); chronic diseases stemming from poor nutrition; healthy and sustainable diets; wider ethical, equity and environmental considerations

  • Behaviour Change Interventions

The importance of different levels of intervention; identifying dietary targets using the socioecological model; employing behaviour change techniques

  • Food Environments and Food Systems

Types of environmental interventions (labelling, healthy choices, economic tools, advertising, food supply and reformulation, and incentives);  adopting food systems thinking in interventions

  • Developing nutrition interventions

Identifying nutritional issues in populations using evidence; developing a logic model; writing a research question

Study designs for evaluating nutrition interventions; mixed methods research; co-designing public health nutrition interventions; measuring nutrition outcomes; developing a protocol and evaluation plan


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

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.


The course will comprise three assignments. Coursework will include written assignments and class presentations.

Assignment 1: Opinion piece on a contemporary nutrition intervention

Assignment 2: Compare various nutrition interventions to address a single outcome

Assignment 3: Develop an evidence-based nutrition intervention

Course Director

Course Administrator