Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon


    Theory and methods in health promotion and public health nutrition to assess, plan, implement, communicate and evaluate community-based nutrition programmes and policies.

    This paper is designed for students who have a passion for improving the health of communities and populations. With a strong emphasis on food access and health disparities and upstream interventions. students will apply nutrition knowledge, consider complex contextual factors to evaluate policies, explore solutions and communicate evidence.

    About this paper

    Paper title Community and Public Health Nutrition
    Subject Human Nutrition
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,173.30
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    (Two of HUNT 241, HUNT 242, HUNT 243 or HUNT 245) or (HUNT 221, HUNT 222 and HUNT 223)
    Schedule C
    Students in the Bachelor of Applied Sciences with a major in Sport and Exercise Nutrition may take this paper having passed HUNT221 and one of HUNT222 or HUNT223. To do this, apply for Special Permission at the Review and Submit stage of your application.

    Teaching staff

    Dr Claire Smith (Paper Co-ordinator) and Olivia Cornille (Teaching Fellow), Mary Spiers (Professional Practice Fellow)

    Paper Structure

    The paper is organised into four modules. In the first module, principles of importance to public health in New Zealand are considered within a nutrition context. In module 2 we take a closer look at nutrition-related policies in New Zealand and examine examples of interventions aimed at improving food environments, diet and health. Students will practice applying principles of needs assessment, intervention management and evaluation in the third module focussing on community-level approaches. Finally, in module 4 we will consider future public health nutrition challenges and food system approaches. In addition students will explore what a career in public health or community nutrition involves and develop communication, advocacy and professional skills.


    1. Introduction to public health nutrition
    2. Nutrition policy and food environments in New Zealand
    3. Community nutrition and intervention management
    4. Future directions in public health nutrition
    Teaching Arrangements

    Two interactive lectures (1-hour each) and one workshop (2-hours) per week.

    Activities in the workshops are designed to practice skills important for public health nutritionists. These include assessing and communicating evidence, advocacy, needs assessment, working and communicating in teams and planning. Microsoft Teams will be used in class and out of class to manage coursework and facilitate learning. Students are expected to spend a further four hours per week on reading in preparation for lectures and workshops and working on assignments.


    There are no set textbooks for this paper. Readings from research papers and book chapters will be available via e-reserve or the library.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Global perspective, Lifelong learning, Communication, Cultural understanding, Information literacy, Research, Teamwork.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Knowledge based:

    • Describe the social determinants of health, existing health inequalities (including food insecurity), socioecological models, and health equity and explain how they relate to nutrition-relevant health outcomes
    • Explain the principles of the Ottawa and Bangkok Charters and Te Tiriti o Waitangi to promote health
    • Explain and evaluate the role of Government, local councils and settings (e.g. schools and workplaces) in ensuring and enabling health

    Skill/practice based:

    • Use and retrieve national and local nutrition and health surveillance data to inform public health nutrition decisions and practice
    • Apply principles of programme planning, behaviour change theory and socioecological approaches to design community interventions to promote healthy food environments
    • Translate scientific evidence, nutritional guidelines and concepts into messages that can be understood by non-science groups to promote health using a range of communication methods


    Semester 2

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Monday 13:00-13:50 29-35, 37-42
    Tuesday 11:00-11:50 29-35, 37-42


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    Attend one stream from
    A1 Thursday 09:00-10:50 29-35, 37-42
    A2 Wednesday 14:00-15:50 29-35, 37-42
    Back to top