Varying global and national forces drive food production and consumption within and among nations. The possibilities and limitations facing nutrition professionals in any given situation require an understanding of policy and the basic principles of policy formation. In order to be effective, professionals need an understanding of the indicators that are available to diagnose the situation, the skills to seek out information, and the ability to correctly interpret the results. Students will examine and apply these skills to specific case examples and evaluate the range of programs used to address over and under-nutrition, and which interventions are appropriate in varying circumstances.
The class will cover: a) how science influences the policy agenda, and how policy debates influence the scientific and programmatic agenda; b) the scientific underpinnings of food and nutrition policies and development of normative guidance; c) how empirical findings in scientific research and operational programming make their way into policy and law; d) global debates and controversies in nutrition; e) how to evaluate what works best and what the alternatives should be considered; f) a review of key organizations involved in global food and nutrition policy and programming.