HNH-39806 Hidden Hunger: Micronutrient Deficiencies in Low and Middle Income Countries


Studiepunten 6.00

Group work4
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. EF Talsma
dr. ir. A Melse-Boonstra
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. A Melse-Boonstra
dr. ir. EF Talsma
drs. THN Ly
AG Zarate Ortiz
dr. ir. JCM Verhoef
dr. ir. TJ Stomph
dr. ir. SE Schoustra
Examiner(s)dr. ir. A Melse-Boonstra

Language of instruction:


Mandatory knowledge:

ZSS06100 Laboratory Safety

Assumed knowledge on:

At the start of the course the student is assumed to have the knowledge and skills obtained through the courses HNH-10806 Nutrition and Health: Macronutrients, Energy and Health; HNH 28305: Metabolic Aspects of Nutrition and HNH-26806 Introduction to Global Nutrition and Health, or equivalent.

Continuation courses:

Internship or Thesis Global Nutrition


The course Hidden Hunger will focus on the causes and consequences of micronutrient deficiencies in low and middle income countries as well as on the available control strategies. The main focus will be on deficiencies of iodine, iron, vitamin A, and zinc. Food and host-related factors that determine dietary intake and bioavailability will be discussed, and strategies to alleviate micronutrient malnutrition, such as dietary diversification, supplementation, fortification, and biofortification will be evaluated quantitatively in assignments and case studies.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- recognise and judge the prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies in low and middle income countries (LMIC) as public health problems;
- explain the relevant human metabolic processes of micronutrients (iron, vitamin A, iodine and zinc) and how this is affected by common infectious diseases;
- measure and interpret basic clinical/biochemical parameters related to micronutrient deficiencies and understand how such measurements can be implemented in the field;
- simulate the possible effect of a food-based strategy on micronutrient intake taking into account dietary intake, retention factors and bioavailability;
- argue why a certain strategy to alleviate micronutrient malnutrition will be the most efficacious in a given situation based on the available evidence;
- develop a study design to assess efficacy of a strategy for improving micronutrient status of a target population.


- lectures;
- guest lectures;
- tutorials;
- group work;
- self-study;
- practicals.


- individual written open book exam (60%), threshold for passing the exam: 5.5;
- assignments and group work (40%);
- mandatory presence during laboratory practical and group presentations.


Handouts of lectures, reading and other material available through Brightspace

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