Community Health Sciences 224: Social Determinants of Nutrition and Health

Quarter: Winter 2017
Instructor: May Wang

Lecture, three hours; discussion, one hour. Preparation: one basic nutrition course. Health promotion strategies aimed at reducing chronic disease risk through lifestyle changes have not been particularly successful in addressing needs of socioeconomically disadvantaged groups. Overview of literature supporting relationship between socioeconomic disadvantage and food-related health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Critical examination of plausible pathways from perspectives of multidisciplines (economics, nutrition, sociology, and more), with focus on linkages between social and physical environment (including built environment) and food equity/access; discussion of how food may be catalyst for improving social capital and health. Discussion of examples of local and international efforts to improve access to healthy foods and/or limit access to unhealthy foods. Exploration of methods for assessing social capital and food-related aspects of neighborhood environments. S/U or letter grading.