HNH-26806 Introduction to Global Nutrition and Health

Code last year: (HNE-26806)


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work12
Excursion (one day)2
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. EF Talsma
M Hummel
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. A Melse-Boonstra
dr. ir. MA Slingerland
dr. ir. ID Brouwer
prof. dr. ir. EJM Feskens
dr. ir. SJM Osendarp
dr S de Pee
ir. PJM Hulshof
prof. dr. ir. E Kampman
dr. ir. EF Talsma
Examiner(s)dr. ir. A Melse-Boonstra

Language of instruction:


Continuation courses:

HNH-39806 Hidden Hunger; HNH-36406 Food Systems for Healthier Diets; PPS-31306 Global Food Security.


In this course we will discuss nutrition in a global nutrition context focusing on assessment of malnutrition, understanding the different levels of causality and the interactions between the various determinants. The socio-economic and cultural dimensions of food habits and consumption will receive ample attention with an emphasis on under-nutrition in low- and middle- income countries. Emerging issues within these countries in an intermediate stage of development are discussed as well, such as nutrition transition, overweight & obesity, rapid urbanization and the double burden. Moreover, the course will touch on some of the solutions that are at hand and the challenges that it takes to implement these.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course student are expected to be able to:

- describe the major causes and consequences of malnutrition in low- and middle-income countries during vulnerable phases in the life cycle;

- explain the components of the concept “food and nutrition security”

- interpret the major nutrition (and health) indicators and explain methods to assess these;

- calculate and interpret z-scores for stunting, wasting and underweight as well as overweight and obesity;

- explain the interrelationship between nutrition, agriculture and health;

- distinguish between nutrition specific and nutrition sensitive interventions;

- describe the nutritional consequences of the nutrition transition and rapid urbanization;

- explain the role of various agencies, companies and organizations that work towards the implementation of nutrition programmes to combat malnutrition in low- and middle income countries;

- apply the knowledge gained during the course to design nutritional strategies.


- lectures;
- guest lectures;
- debate;
- group work;
- excursion;
- self-study.


Participation in group work and tutorials is mandatory. The final mark is based on a written exam into computer based exam, consisting of 60 multiple choice questions (60%, minimum score 5.5), and the mark for group work (40%).


Course guide provided in Learning environment@WUR. 

Semba & Bloem (2008). ISBN: 9781934115244 Den Hartog; [et. al]. (2006). ISBN: 9789076998947

Restricted Optional for: MNHNutrition and HealthMScD: Sensory Science1MO
MNHNutrition and HealthMScA: Nutritional and Public Health Epidemiology1MO
MNHNutrition and HealthMScB: Nutritional Physiology and Health Status1MO
MNHNutrition and HealthMScC: Molecular Nutrition and Toxicology1MO