Global Nutrition

  • ECTS credits5
  • Teaching semesterSpring
  • Course codeINTH360
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Resources

Objectives and Content

The course content is divided into three parts:

  1. Overview of global nutrition. Overview of the world nutrition situation in relation to other critical issues for our common future: poverty, population and urbanisation, water and other environmental issues, the Millennium development goals and food as a Human Right. The epidemiology of global nutritional problems and their current trends.
  2. Health and nutrition. The influence of nutrition on health, nutrition and immunity, diseases of poverty, maternal and child health, breastfeeding, HIV/Aids and tuberculosis.
  3. Food production and nutrition in low-resource settings. Overview of crop and livestock systems, household fuel, food security and food production, post-harvest technology, gender issues in food production, marketing and participatory rural appraisal.


At the end of the course the students will

  • have an updated overview of the nutritional challenges globally in our world today, and regional trends in nutritional indicators.
  • have an increased awareness of the interdisciplinary nature of nutritional problems in low-income countries.
  • be familiar with the concept of food as a human right.
  • have a good understanding of the interaction between nutrition and health, especially in low-resource settings,
  • have a good understanding of constraints in food production globally and in low-resource settings
  • be familiar with the commonest food crops in the world, smallholders production systems, subsistence farmers strategies, livestock

Teaching Methods and Extent of Organized Teaching

The course is full-time and comprises lectures, demonstrations, seminars and individual studies. Group discussions guided by the faculty highlight ongoing research, debate and relevant articles. A group project is assigned as an educational tool to depict current issues in the field of nutrition.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Demonstrations, group assignments, computer sessions and examination will be compulsory (requirement; at least 80 % attendance).

Semester of Instruction


Access to the Course

International programmes and agreements; Master`s programme in International health; Master`s programme in Oral Sciences; Master`s programme in health sciences - Health promotion; Master of Philosophy in Health Promotion; PhD - Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Place of Instruction

Centre for International Health, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Bergen

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course the students will be able to:


  • Give an updated overview of the nutritional challenges and trends in different parts of the world, especially in low-income countries.
  • Describe the relation between food production, nutrition and health, and especially in low-income countries.
  • Describe the different food production systems in the world and their consequences for nutrition.


  • Use and evaluate nutritional indicators


  • Describe the concept of food as a human right.

Recommended Previous Knowledge

The course is targeted for those holding a bachelor´s degree in agriculture, food and nutrition, medicine, social anthropology or other allied health professions. Previous work experience in a low-income country is a merit. Precedence will be given to those registered for an MSc or PhD programme.

Reading List

  • Lindstrand A, Bergström S, Rosling H, Rubenson B, Stenson B, Tylleskär T. Global health - an introductory textbook. Studentlitteratur, Lund 2006.
  • Antonsson-Ogle, B, Gustafsson, O, Hambraeus L and Holmgren G, Tylleskär T. Nutrition, agriculture and health when resources are scarce. 2nd ed. Uppsala University, Uppsala 2000.
  • UN Standing Committee on Nutrition. 5th report on the world nutrition situation. UN SCN Geneva 2004
  • Selected parts of Bowman BA, Russel RM (eds). Present knowledge in Nutrition (9th Ed). ILSI Washington 2004.
  • Savage King, F and Burgess, A. Nutrition for developing countries. Oxford University Press, Oxford 1993.
  • UNICEF. The state of the world´s children, Annual Yearbook.


Forms of Assessment

Written exam and group presentations of group assignments.

Grading Scale

Grading scale A-F

Course Evaluation

Online evaluation.


Centre for international health


Contact Information

Centre for International Health

Tel: 55588569/70; e-mail: post@cih.uib.no