Theories of Behavior Change and their Application in Nutrition and Public Health Interventions

Course Details

Course Number
NUTR 211

Course Description

What motivates people to adopt healthier food and lifestyle choices? This course will explore various theoretical perspectives on nutrition and health-related behavior change. It will include an examination of several individual-based, social-based, organization-based an eco-social theories, including the Health Belief Model, the Theory of Planned Behavior, the Transtheoretical Model, Decision-Making, Social Support, Social Learning Theory, and Diffusion of Innovations. Knowledge of these theories will help inform the design of research and program interventions based on psycho-biological, social, cultural and organizational frameworks. The course emphasizes an understanding of core theory concepts and issues in measurement. In-class workshops will allow for direct application of the theories to students' current research and program intervention interests. The course will provide concepts and tools that can apply not only to the students' own research interests, but also to other courses, such as those focused on nutrition interventions, patient education, persuasive communication, social marketing and mass media. This course should be of great value to MS students in the Nutrition Communication, Nutrition Epidemiology, Nutrition Intervention Programs and to students in the MS/Dietetic Internship programs. 

Enrollment limited to 30 students. Priority enrollment is given to: 

  1. NICBC students (for whom the course is a requirement);
  2. Second-year FPAN students, Nutrition Interventions specialization;
  3. Second-year Friedman students in any program doing a Nutrition Communication minor;
  4. First-year FPAN students, Nutrition Interventions specialization;
  5. First-year Friedman students in any program doing a Nutrition Communication minor;
  6. Any other Friedman students;
  7. MPH students;
    8) Any other Tufts students (Graduate standing or instructor consent)
    9) Any other students from Boston Consortium Schools.
Syllabus: 

Terms Offered

Semester/Term SIS Number Meeting Time Location Instructors Syllabus
Fall 2017 83491 Monday 9:00am - 12:00pm Jaharis 118 and Jaharis 155 Sara C. Folta, Eleanor Shonkoff
Fall 2016 63445 Monday 9:00am - 12:00pm Jaharis 118 Sara C. FoltaSara Folta
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